So now that we have discussed
some of the major types of reflexes.
Let's take a look at some of the disorders
and injuries that result from spinal cord damage.
Damage to the spinal cord can cause
different types of traumatic injuries.
You can have monoplegia, where only one of the limbs is
going to be affected or paralysis of one of the limbs.
Paraplegia, which involves paralysis of
your lower limbs on both sides of the body.
And with paraplegia, you can also had Diplegia, which
is also going to also affect the top half of the body
so either the lower half or the top half.
In hemiplegia, the damage is going to affect
and cause paralysis on one side of the body
to both the upper and lower limbs.
And in quadruplegia, we are going to affect or cause
paralysis in all four limbs - upper, lower, right and left.
So any traumatic injuries, the damage
that results can depend on different things.
First the degree of the spinal
cord section that is damaged
as well as a degree of compression
of the segments involved.
Along with these traumatic injuries,
there are also certain disorders
that can result in
damage to the spinal cord.
First we have degenerative diseases.
These diseases usually involve degeneration
of the white matter tracts of the spinal cord.
An example of this is the amyotropic lateral
sclerosis or ALS also known as Gehrig's disease.
In this disease, we're going to get
degeneration of our motor neurons.
Another disorder that can
occur is spinal cord compression.
This can be caused by a
vertebral fracture or a herniated disc.
In this we are compressing
portions of the spinal cord.
This can lead to things like numbness, tingling
sensations, pain and sometimes even paralysis.
Another disorder that affects the spinal
cord is poliomyelitis also referred to as polio.
This disorder is caused by the poliovirus.
It can destroy your motor
neurons and lead to paralysis.
And even after recovering from poliomyelitis, some
patients will also experience post-polio syndrome
where there are later effects to the nervous system
after they have recovered from a previous infection
Another infection caused
by viruses is shingles.
Shingles is caused by
the herpes-zoster virus.
In this, the the virus is going to take root in the post
root ganglia of the spinal cord or the spinal nerves.
If they are reactivated for some reason usually
due to stress or some type of stressful event
or sometimes due to age, it can
result in pain and also a line of blisters.
The interesting thing about the
line of blisters is it they correspond
to the dermatome of the sensory
nerve that is affected by the herpes virus
Other disorders or injuries to the spinal cord can
also lead to different types of palsy or paralysis.
The first one is Erb's palsy.
Erb's palsy involves an arm paralysis
where the arm cannot be raised from the side
and the shoulder cannot be flexed.
You are also not able to move your elbow.
They referred to this as "waiter's tip"
because the way the arm hangs to the side
and the hand is turned either to the side
or turned back toward behind the body
Another type of palsy,
is radial nerve palsy
This is also referred to as "wrist drop".
In this type of palsy, injury to the spinal cord causes
you to not be able to extend the wrist and the digits
due to injury to the radial nerve.
Another type of palsy is median nerve palsy.
The median nerve is actually a nerve that controls
the majority of the muscles in the forearm
including the thumb and the digits.
And because of how important the median nerve is
it is also referred to as that "eye" of the hand
When this nerve is damaged,
you cannot abduct or oppose thumb
and you often get, like you get
something called "ape hand deformity"
where you can't really stretch your hand out
and your hand is kind of stuck in a cup form.
Another type of palsy is ulnar nerve palsy.
This involves damage to the ulnar nerve.
The ulnar nerve controls the pinky finger and half of your
ring finger and also the intrinsic muscles of the hand.
Usually in ulnar nerve palsy, you have numbness
in your little finger and your ring finger.
But this type of palsy can be
degenerative and over time,
you can begin to develop
what's known as the "ulnar claw".
In this, the small and the
ring finger start to curl up
and this is usually an indication
of severe neuropathy.