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A 29-year-old member asked:

How does an injury to the spinal cord affect the nerves?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Depends on damage: The spinal cord serves as a conduit for information to/from the brain.If cord injury is minor(brief compression/shock) the information transfer may stop for a time & return after any swelling/etc.Is gone. If the injury kills a segment of the cord, the sensation below the segment is lost and voluntary control of muscles below the injury is gone (permanent paralysis). Reflex mvt may persist.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 40 years experience
The spinal cord is : The main cable of nerve tracts to connect the brain to the nerves of the rest of the body except for the cranial nerves. An injury to the spinal cord can have a total or partial effect on nerve functions that can be permanent or temporary. The level at which the spinal cord injury occurs also affects which nerves will be involved as well. There are also several different patterns of cord injury.

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CA
A 38-year-old member asked:

How common are injuries to the spinal cord?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Orr
Surgical Oncology 44 years experience
Moderate: Fortunately, the bones in the spine give us pretty good protection and spinal cord injuries are much less common than things like broken wrists, collarbones, legs, etc. But they are devastating injuries when they lead to paralysis, so you should do everything you can do to prevent them. Wear your seatbelt, be very careful on ladders, stay off roofs (unless trained), don't dive into water, etc.

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Last updated Jan 11, 2016
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