Quadriplegia: What It’s Like For a Quadriplegic?
There is always a chance when involved in an accident, whether it is your fault or not, that you suffer a severe injury that changes your life completely.
One of these types of injuries is becoming a quadriplegic. Unfortunately, this happens more times than what most people realize, often the result of a personal injury that they had no control over.
What is Quadriplegia?
Quadriplegia is an injury of the spine that results in the total or partial loss of sensation in all limbs and in the torso.
In most cases, the loss is not the only sensor but motor wise as well, meaning that the control of the limbs is gone, and no feeling is felt either.
It should be noted that this is also known as tetraplegia, and these terms are completely interchangeable as they have the same meaning.
In addition, those who are quadriplegic may have issues with breathing on their own since this is controlled by nerves in the spine that are in the upper level of the neck, which could be affected.
There can be several factors and underlying causes that lead to a person being classified as a quadriplegic. These causes include:
– Trauma to the spinal cord that is often seen when involved in an accident
– Brainstem lesion
– An embolism
– Acute blood loss
– Multiple sclerosis
– Tumor growth on the spinal cord
– Vertebral disc prolapses
– Spina bifida
– A vertebral fracture that crushes the spinal cord
– Whiplash from being involved in an auto accident
– Multiple myelomas
– Bony metastases
– A fall that results in breaking the spine
– STD’s like syphilis, AIDs and other issues that go untreated and unknown
In most cases, those who become a quadriplegic in later life is due to an accident. Whether this was an accident in a car or even a workplace accident.
When a person believes that quadriplegia is the diagnosis, the person most often notices that they simply cannot move.
This can be a very scary moment and one that doctors will take and start to treat, as there could be several situations that have caused it. The symptoms of quadriplegia include:
– Loss of sensation in the arms and the legs
– You cannot intentionally move either your legs and arms
– You have not control over your bowels
– Men have impotence
– There are difficulties with breathing in some patients
– There could be pressure sores on the body since you are unable to move, especially if you have been left in a bed for a long amount of time
– Paralysis of arms
– Paralysis of legs
– Urinary incontinence
– Muscle can be seen wasting away as it is not being used
Is there treatment for those who are dealing with tetraplegia aka quadriplegia? There are treatment methods that are meant to help a person to function more normally.
There are amazing cases every day where people who were told they would never walk or move their arms again are able to get some feeling back into these extremities to walk with walkers or at least assist themselves more.
However, in most cases, treatment is meant to help the patient function as they are and learn how to deal with life as someone who can no longer move their arms, legs, and torso.
Some of these treatment options include:
- Surgical treatment of the spinal cord in order to help repair some damage, which could result in the person getting some of the feeling back into their body, even if they are unable to stand by themselves or move too fast.
- Physiotherapy is used to help the rehabilitate the muscles and joints in the body. It can help to ensure that the muscles are getting moved which could help the person to become stronger rather than the muscle wasting away.
- Oxygen that is worn at all times is often given to those who are having breathing issues.
- For those confined to a bed, they must be moved frequently to avoid pressure sores forming on the body.
- Speech therapy is often given so that the person can communicate with those around them.
- Occupational therapy can be given to those who want to try to do as much as possible on their own. This may include helping the person to learn how to use a wheelchair, walker, how to go tend to their hygiene needs and the like.
The truth is that in most cases, those who are pronounced as a quadriplegic are going to need a full-time helper with them, as they are not going to be able to bathe themselves, feed themselves or move at all.
Quadriplegic vs Paraplegic
How does quadriplegic and paraplegic compare and contrast? Both of these issues are due to having an illness that attacked the spinal cord or suffering from an injury in the spinal cord area.
And they are both going to cause a person to have no feeling and no ability to move their limbs.
However, a paraplegic often only loses feeling and movement in the feet, toes, legs and the torso. Whereas, a quadriplegic is going to lose feeling and movement in all limbs, including the arms.
Does a person recover from being a quadriplegic? There have been amazing stories throughout the world of those who are beating the odds and recover to the extent that they are able to walk with the help of a cane or walker. However, this is the exception to the rule.
There is no official cure for any type of spinal injury. There are those who work at gaining movement in their limbs in order to walk again, yet they may work at this goal for months or even years to see results.
The Effect on Life
When a person becomes quadriplegic the effect on their life is going to be monumental. A person can easily go from someone who lived on their own, worked and made their own way to someone who needs constant care and someone with them at all times.
It can be devastating, and many times those who are in this situation have to battle depression as a result. This can make recovery and treatment harder, as the person has to come to realistic expectations.
If you have been injured in an accident or incident that resulted in you becoming a quadriplegic, you are going to be facing huge medical expenses, loss of income and a loss of the quality of your life. This is why you will need someone to fight for you, who is always on your side, looking out for your best interest!
At Conte Jaswal, we understand that this type of injury will result in a long-term care plan that will require a lot of moving parts.
Let us help you to get the justice that you deserve!
We have worked with similar cases in the past to get the patient monetary assistance due to the injuries that they have suffered and the change in life that resulted from this injury.
Contact us today for a FREE Consultation.