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Spinal Cord Injury
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: The spinal cord begins at the brainstem, exits the skull through the foramen magnum, and extends to the first lumbar vertebra, divided into cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions. The spinal cord gives rise to pairs of spinal nerves that supply sensory and motor function to the body. The cauda equina, made up of lumbar and sacral spinal nerves, extends through the vertebral canal from L2 to S5. The spinal cord is composed of gray matter and white matter. Gray matter contains nerve cell bodies, dendrites, and the proximal parts of axons. White matter contains spinal tracts which consist of myelinated axons. Sensory nerve impulses travel from the body to the brain through afferent nerves in the dorsal root ganglion and dorsal root. Motor nerve impulses travel from the brain to the body, through efferent nerve axons in the ventral root. Dorsal and ventral roots merge to form each spinal nerve. The American Spinal Injury Association classifies spinal cord injuries according to spinal cord level and completeness of injury. A complete or Level A spinal cord injury results in no sensory or motor function in the S4 to 5 spinal cord segments. Each spinal nerve provide sensory innervation to areas of the skin called dermatomes. A C4 to 5 Level A spinal cord injury results in partial or total loss of sensation in the C4 and C5 dermatomes, and total sensory loss below. Motor loss from a C4 to 5 Level A injury results in tetraplegia or quadriplegia which is characterized by partial or total loss of arm movement and total motor loss below. Structures with no motor function may include the diaphragm, requiring ventilator respiratory assistance. Acute treatment for a C4 to 5 spinal cord injury includes stabilization of the spine, physical rehabilitation, or surgical decompression of the spinal cord. Steroids are used to reduce inflammation. Physical and occupational therapy maybe use to increase physical mobility and functional independence. ♪ [music] ♪
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