Quadriplegia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Complications|Can Quadriplegics Live A Normal Life?

How far can we think about a life without moving our both hands and legs or remain paralyzed fully or partially? Off course it is something which cannot be imagined by a person living a normal life. But the one who is actually running through such a condition with reduced motor activities or suffering from paralysis; must be having real tough time with such a kind of paralysis where the victim is unable to move his both the limbs. Usually paralysis is a condition where the patient has reduced motor activities caused mainly due to spinal cord injury with severe accidents in life. Quadriplegia is a kind of Paralysis which gets a situation in the victim where he is unable to move his body below the neck, usually the two legs and two hands. There are many people suffering from such a condition and struggling through their life, trying hard to live a normal life, going through ups and downs without their two limbs. The current article will revolve around the topic of Quadriplegia where we will try to get into the life of the quadriplegics and find out how far they have a normal living. So, go through the following array and get to know about the causes, symptoms and possible treatments for this type of paralyzed condition called Quadriplegia.


Facts To Know About Quadriplegia:

“Injuries to the nervous system can make the life turn to hell!” Some severe spinal cord injuries make the victim meet with a condition where he fails moving his both the limbs. It is also called as Tetraplegia. Usually this type of paralysis gets a state in the person’s life where there is a loss of sensation in the upper and lower body parts, usually the portion below neck. “It is not just about sensation loss, it is more about being out of control.” Quadriplegics also have no control in their affected portion, or there is a loss of control in the parts below the shoulder region. So, this type of paralysis is something where there is a damage of motor and the sensory; thus resulting in damage of control and sensation in both the limbs that makes it difficult to live a normal lifespan.

Let us now read about the causes, symptoms and treatments available for Quadriplegia and also make a note on if the Quadriplegics have a normal lifespan.

Causes of Quadriplegia:

Usually Quadriplegia is caused when there are damages occurring to the cervical spinal cord segments at C1-C8 levels. There are some known causes for such a type of paralysis caused by damages in spinal cord segments; which are worth noting down. Maybe knowing the causes can help us keep safe from the situation to arrive in your life. So, here we go with the list of causes for Quadriplegia.

  • Trauma like car accidents, sports injury, fall, etc. can cause this type of paralysis in most cases.
  • Certain diseases like Polio results in quadriplegia.
  • Congenital disorders like muscle dystrophy also causes quadriplegia.

Symptoms of Quadriplegia:

To get a complete insight on any disease or disorder, you surely need to know the symptoms in a proper manner. As mentioned above, quadriplegia gets a complete or partial restriction in the body parts of the victim, mostly below the neck. Now coming to a proper study on the symptoms, here we come up with the major symptom being the loss of control and sensation in either the arms, or both the limbs, i.e. two hands and two legs. However as they say, “When problem comes, it never comes alone.” So, Quadriplegia also has some other symptoms apart from the loss of control and sensation in the upper and lower body parts below neck or shoulders. So in the next section of the article, we will discuss on other possible symptoms; that will be mentioned under the complications associated with Quadriplegia.

Various Other Associated Symptoms of Quadriplegia: Complications Associated With Quadriplegia That Restricts A Normal Life Span!

It is an obvious fact that the Quadriplegics do not have a normal lifespan. There are always complications related to life or various systems of the body of a quadriplegic or any of the persons who is affected by a spinal cord injury. There are records listing about the patients with traumatic spinal cord injury meeting with Quadriplegia within four hours of the injury, have less chances of their life expectancy.

Check Out The Below List Of Complications Associated With Quadriplegia:

  • One of the major symptoms include respiratory problem, where the person fails to breath properly or even many times it gets impossible to breathe.
  • There are also symptoms of impaired digestion and loss of bladder and bowel control.
  • There may be a growth in pressure sores which may lead to some other serious conditions, and also death.
  • Blood clots and pain are some other symptoms associated with Quadriplegia.
  • The real threat to life begins with the paralysis of abdominal muscles. There is a sudden restriction in bronchitis or the bronchitis obstruction due to the paralysis of abdominal muscle or due to the inability to cough.
  • The portion of lungs which are not ventilated, have chances for getting infected. So quadriplegia is also associated with complications of pulmonary infection.
  • There are risks of abnormal bony outgrowth or Osteomas.

Treatment For Quadriplegia: A Hope For Life In Quadriplegics!

“There is always a hope till the last breath.” Following are some of the available treatments for Quadriplegia, which may not completely make the Quadriplegics a normal life; but at least will give a hope that there is a life even with the paralysis. Look below for the possible treatments that can help the Quadriplegics fight against the deadly symptoms of the Tetraplegia.

  • Trauma Care and Surgery: This is the immediate treatment highly necessary for patients with any spinal cord injury. Soon the victim is taken to trauma center where he is mobilized at first on an immediate basis so as to prevent the arrival of any other injury. Meanwhile the patient is also made stabilized in terms of his heart rate, blood pressure and assisted to get stable. As Quadriplegia may lead to problematic breathing, patients will be incubated so as to help breathing.
    Surgeries may be required and done immediately so as to get relief from the extreme pain and pressure on the spine. However it must be noted, that though surgeries may help you stabilize the spine, there is no surgery to treat the spinal cord nerve damage.
  • FNS or Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation: FNS or Functional Neuromuscular Stimulation is a kind of rehabilitation, a kind of treatment used in Quadriplegia; where the victim’s muscles are stimulated by using electrodes and are given the chance for their optimal workouts. This is actually a kind of passive physical therapy done by the therapist so as to increase the circulation by retaining the proper muscle tone. This Functional neuromuscular stimulation technique help in stimulating the intact peripheral nerves so as to let the paralyzed muscles get contracted. This contraction is done by the electrodes implanted inside through the skin.
  • Robotic Tech Treatments: Robotic tech treatments can probably help the patients live a life somewhat like the normal by using robotic arms and legs. But as it is, there will always be a complication; there will always be some issue in normal life expectancy to any person who has met with a spinal cord injury.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 3, 2018

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