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Disorders and Injuries of the Spinal Cord (Nursing)

by Jasmine Clark

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    00:00 So now that we have discussed some of the major types of reflexes.

    00:04 Let's take a look at some of the disorders and injuries that result from spinal cord damage.

    00:11 Damage to the spinal cord can cause different types of traumatic injuries.

    00:17 You can have monoplegia, where only one of the limbs is going to be affected or paralysis of one of the limbs.

    00:26 Paraplegia, which involves paralysis of your lower limbs on both sides of the body.

    00:34 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.

    00:46 In hemiplegia, the damage is going to affect and cause paralysis on one side of the body to both the upper and lower limbs.

    00:57 And in quadruplegia, we are going to affect or cause paralysis in all four limbs - upper, lower, right and left.

    01:08 So any traumatic injuries, the damage that results can depend on different things.

    01:15 First the degree of the spinal cord section that is damaged as well as a degree of compression of the segments involved.

    01:25 Along with these traumatic injuries, there are also certain disorders that can result in damage to the spinal cord.

    01:34 First we have degenerative diseases.

    01:37 These diseases usually involve degeneration of the white matter tracts of the spinal cord.

    01:45 An example of this is the amyotropic lateral sclerosis or ALS also known as Gehrig's disease.

    01:54 In this disease, we're going to get degeneration of our motor neurons.

    01:59 Another disorder that can occur is spinal cord compression.

    02:04 This can be caused by a vertebral fracture or a herniated disc.

    02:09 In this we are compressing portions of the spinal cord.

    02:14 This can lead to things like numbness, tingling sensations, pain and sometimes even paralysis.

    02:23 Another disorder that affects the spinal cord is poliomyelitis also referred to as polio.

    02:30 This disorder is caused by the poliovirus.

    02:35 It can destroy your motor neurons and lead to paralysis.

    02:40 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.

    03:02 Shingles is caused by the herpes-zoster virus.

    03:06 In this, the the virus is going to take root in the post root ganglia of the spinal cord or the spinal nerves.

    03:16 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.

    03:29 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.

    03:52 The first one is Erb's palsy.

    03:54 Erb's palsy involves an arm paralysis where the arm cannot be raised from the side and the shoulder cannot be flexed.

    04:04 You are also not able to move your elbow.

    04:08 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".

    04:30 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.

    04:42 Another type of palsy is median nerve palsy.

    04:46 The median nerve is actually a nerve that controls the majority of the muscles in the forearm including the thumb and the digits.

    04:55 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.

    05:22 Another type of palsy is ulnar nerve palsy.

    05:27 This involves damage to the ulnar nerve.

    05:30 The ulnar nerve controls the pinky finger and half of your ring finger and also the intrinsic muscles of the hand.

    05:39 Usually in ulnar nerve palsy, you have numbness in your little finger and your ring finger.

    05:48 But this type of palsy can be degenerative and over time, you can begin to develop what's known as the "ulnar claw".

    05:58 In this, the small and the ring finger start to curl up and this is usually an indication of severe neuropathy.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Disorders and Injuries of the Spinal Cord (Nursing) by Jasmine Clark is from the course Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves – Physiology (Nursing).


    Author of lecture Disorders and Injuries of the Spinal Cord (Nursing)

     Jasmine Clark

    Jasmine Clark


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