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Spinal cord injury
A spinal cord injury (SCI) may cause a loss of movement and feeling below the site of injury. You can get a spinal cord injury from a trauma, such as a car accident or a fall.
Spinal cord injuries are either complete or incomplete. A complete injury results in no feeling or movement below the site of the injury. An incomplete injury allows some feeling and movement. People with SCI also may have other problems, such as not being able to control urination and bowel movements. Those whose spinal cords are injured in the neck often need devices to help them breathe.
People living with SCI may need to change some aspect of their workplace or home to help them live with their disability. But many people with SCIs are able to lead full, productive lives.
Explore other publications and websites
Autonomic Dysreflexia (Copyright © National Spinal Cord Injury Association) — Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) is a potentially serious complication of spinal cord injury. This fact sheet lists the signs to watch out for, typical causes of AD, and tips for prevention.
Common Questions About Spinal Cord Injury (Copyright © NSCIA) — This publication answers basic questions about spinal cord injury and challenges for those living with SCI. It talks about the effects of SCI, statistics and gives statistical information.
Employees Who Use Wheelchairs (Copyright © Job Accommodation Network) — This gives basic information about common limitations, accommodation possibilities, and ergonomics for people who use wheelchairs.
Pressure Sores (Copyright © National Spinal Cord Injury Association) — Pressure sores, or bed sores, can become a problem in people with spinal cord injury. This fact sheet explains your role in the treatment program and how you can prevent and treat pressure sores.
Sexuality and Reproductive Health Following Spinal Cord Injury — This report provides information on the impact of spinal cord injury (SCI) on sexual functioning. It discusses fertility, pregnancy rates, male impotence, and live births in persons with SCI.
Spinal Cord Injury (Copyright © Mayo Foundation) — This publication provides an overview of spinal cord injury. It includes the signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors, when to seek medical advice, screening and diagnosis, complications, treatment prevention, and list of coping skills.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment and Cure Research (Copyright © National Spinal Cord Injury Association) — Spinal cord injury injury has no cure yet, but there is reason for hope. This website explains in detail the current research being done on treating and curing spinal cord injury. It also discusses the advancements in areas such as biomedical engineering, pain management, and male fertility.
Spinal Cord Injury: Hope Through Research — This publication about spinal cord injury explains what happens when the spine is injured, how it is treated, how it affects the rest of the body, how rehabilitation can help, and what research is being conducted.
Connect with other organizations
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, NIH, HHS
National Rehabilitation Information Center, NIDRR, ED
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
North American Spine Society
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Spinal Cord Injury Information Network
Spinal Cord Society
Content last updated September 22, 2009.
Resources last updated September 22, 2009.
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