3.1- Spinal Cord Injury Flashcards Preview

Neuro > 3.1- Spinal Cord Injury > Flashcards

Flashcards in 3.1- Spinal Cord Injury Deck (25):

SCI Stats:
1. ____ new cases/year with 200,000 living in US
2. Most likely ages ___ but adults 61+ make up 10% of population (falls)
3. ____% male
4. What is the most common cause?

1. 10,000
2. 16-30
3. 82%
4. MVA 33%, Violence 27%, Falls 21%, Sports 6%


Total of ___ pairs of spinal nerves:

___ cervical
___ thoracic
___ lumbar
___ sacral
___ coccyx

31 pairs: 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral, 1 coccyx


First cervical spinal nerve has only ____ roots - ____ but no ___ components.
Sensory of face and head is supplied by _____ nerve instead.

ventral roots- motor but no sensory

trigeminal nerve


8 cervical spinal nerves- pair 1-7 exit ___ the cervical vertebrae of the same number while C8 exits ______
*All remaining spinal nerves exit ___ their vertebrae to ____

1-7 exit above

C8 exits below C7 and above T1

remaining spinal nerves exit below their vertebrae to T12


The SC ends at the ____ disc- after birth the spinal column grows while the cord does not.

L1-L2 disc


In the upper cervical region the nerves exit _______.
By the end of the cervical spine the nerve has to drop _____ before it exits.
Thoracic nerve roots must drop ___ level; difference is so great at the lumbar level that it must drop ___ levels.

upper cervical = at the level of the vertebrae

end of cervical spine = drop 1 level

thoracic roots = drop 1 level

lumbar level = must drop 2 levels


Naming an injury:
named according to the _______ (as demonstrated by muscle function that remains), not level of bony damage

the last spinal nerve left intact


Naming an injury:
Because the nerve root drops before it exits, the person will generally have function ____ than the level that the actual bony injury occurred.



Naming an injury:
Damage from _____ generally affects the ______, not the spinal cord

L1 and down generally affects the cauda equina


_______ - caudal most segment with intact sensory and motor function
*intact muscle function is determined by having at least a Fair MMT if others above are Good to Normal
*key muscles used for testing are the ones most used functionally

Neurologic level of injury


What is determined by testing key myotomes and dermatomes?

Neurologic level of injury


Naming an injury:
Because a muscle can be innervated by ______ and neurologic damage is generally _____, some function is likely below the level of damage.

innervated by more than 1 level and neurologic damage is generally not complete


What is:
Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia?


Cauda Equina lesion?

Quad or Tetra = cervical injury that affects all 4 limbs

Para = thoracic injury involving lower limbs

Cauda Equina lesion = L1 and below


The SC is thicker in an area of more _______ function. Why?

motor function b/c of the large number of motor neurons


C1, C2; Lots of rotation = _____

C5-C7 make up the ______ a.k.a. the ________

T12-L2 make up the _____ a.k.a. the ________

C1, C2 = instability

C5-C7 = Brachial plexus, a.k.a. the cervical enlargement

T12-L2 = lumbar plexus, aka the lumbar enlargement


Why are enlarged (cervical enlargement and lumbar enlargement) areas more vulnerable to injury?

b/c the cells take up so much room that it can't move out of the way and tend to be more mobile making them less stable


What are 4 common spinal cord injuries?

1. cervical flexion and rotation injuries
2. compression injury
3. hyperextension
4. hyperflexion injury


What are 3 facts about cervical flexion and rotation injuries?

1. occurs with MVA when struck from rear
2. posterior spinal ligament ruptures and the upper vertebrae can displace on the lower transecting the SC
3. disc can also rupture damaging the SC


What are 2 facts about compression injuries?

1. occurs with downward compressive force such as diving, falls from high surfaces, severe osteoporosis
2. fracture of the vertebral body producing bone fragments that get displaced into SC- or body is completely crushed putting pressure on the SC


What are 2 facts about hyperextension injuries?

1. common in falls of the elderly when chin strikes a stationary object
2. anterior longitudinal ligament ruptures, disc can rupture and SC is compressed


What are 2 facts about hyperflexion injuries?

1. caused by head on collision or blow to back of head
2. anterior compression fracture of vertebral body causing disc tearing and damage to the anterior spinal artery


What type of SCI?
1. posterior spinal ligament ruptures
2. damage to the anterior spinal artery
3. anterior longitudinal ligament ruptures
4. fracture of vertebral body

1. cervical flexion and rotation injuries
2. hyperflexion injury
3. hyperextension
4. compression injury


What happens immediately have SCI?

1. hemorrhage into gray matter of SC causing necrosis
2. edema develops putting pressure on tracts interrupting signals from both sensory and motor
3. spinal shock


What causes spinal shock and how long does it normally last?

What are some symptoms?

due to interruption of autonomic pathways, normally lasts 24-48 hours, but may go on weeks

flaccid, areflexia, loss of bowel and bladder function, decreased BP, and poor temp regulation below the level of injury


What happens 6-12 hours after SCI?

What happens 1 week after SCI?

6-12 hours = immune cells respond and attempt to clean up tissue - results in destruction of more tissue

1 week = fibers begin to loose myelin affecting ability to conduct