|Specialty||Physical medicine and rehabilitation|
Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities.
The word comes from Ionic Greek (παραπληγίη) "half-stricken".
The area of the spinal canal that is affected in paraplegia is either the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions.
If four limbs are affected by paralysis, tetraplegia or quadriplegia is the correct term.
If only one limb is affected, the correct term is monoplegia.
The American Spinal Injury Association classifies spinal cord injury severity.
ASIA A being the complete loss of sensory function and motor skills below the injury.
ASIA B is having some sensory function below the injury, but no motor function.
ASIA C some motor function below level of injury, but half the muscles cannot move against gravity.
ASIA D, more than half of the muscles below the level of injury can move against gravity.
ASIA E which is the restoration of all neurologic function.
Individuals with paraplegia can range in their level of disability, requiring treatments to vary from case to case.
Rehabilitation aims to help the patient regain as much functionality and independence as possible.
Physiotherapy may help to improve strength, range of motion, stretching and transfer skills.
Most paraplegics will be dependent on a wheelchair as a mode of transportation.
With the aid of physiotherapists and occupational therapists, individuals with an SCI can learn new skills and adapt previous ones to maximize independence, often living independently within the community.
Regeneration of the spinal cord
See also: Spinal cord injury § Research directions
In 2014, Fidyka underwent pioneering spinal surgery that used nerve grafts, from his ankle, to 'bridge the gap' in his severed spinal cord and OEC's to stimulate the spinal cord cells.
The surgery was performed in Poland in collaboration with Prof. Geoff Raisman, chair of neural regeneration at University College London's Institute of Neurology, and his research team.
The olfactory cells were taken from the patient's olfactory bulbs in his brain and then grown in the lab, these cells were then injected above and below the impaired spinal tissue.
Fidyka regained sensory and motor function in his lower limbs, notably on the side of the transplanted OEC's.
Fidyka first noticed the success three months after the procedure, when his left thigh started gaining muscle mass.
MRIs suggest that the gap in his spinal cord has been closed up.
He is believed to be the first person in the world to recover sensory function from a complete severing of the spinal nerves.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraplegia.