The spinal cord is the major bundle of nerves that carries signals to and from the brain to the rest of the body. A spinal cord injury or an SCI is damage inflicted to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feelings.
There are two different types of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI):
- Complete-There are no functions below the level of the injury; no sensation and no voluntary movement. Both sides of the body are equally affected.
- Incomplete-There is some functioning below the primary level of the injury. A person with an incomplete injury may have sensation below their lesion but no movement, or vice versa.
Additionally, a person who suffers paralysis as a result of a spinal cord injury may be referred to as:
- a Paraplegic
- a Quadriplegic or a Tetraplegic
Symptoms of the Spinal Cord Injury:
The ability to control limbs after a spinal cord injury mainly depends on two factors: the neurological levels of the injury and completeness of injury.
Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Spinal cord injuries are frequently caused by a range of events, from road accidents to sports activities.
- In the UK, about 1,000 people sustain a spinal cord injury each year. There are approximately 40,000 people in the UK that are thought to have spinal cord injuries.
- In the United States, approximately 12,000 Americans sustain a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year.
- In the United States, nearly 200,000 people live with a disability related to a spinal cord injury (SCI)
- Disease, such as polio, spina bifida, Friedreich's Ataxia, etc. is also a cause of spinal cord injuries.
Consequences of Paralysis following a Spinal Cord Injury
Injuries at different points along the spinal cord cause different areas of the body to become paralysed. In theory the higher the spinal cord injury the more parts of the body are affected as the signals running down the spinal cord cannot reach its desired destination.
As a result of these injuries, people are frequently left with one or more of the following conditions that Finetech Medical's products can help with:
Finetech Medical produces a range of long-term implantable neuromuscular stimulators to restore function after spinal cord injury. Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) can be used to produce contractions in paralysed muscles. Finetech Medical’s implants deliver small electrical pulses to the nerves that supply the paralysed muscles, causing them to contract. An external, wireless device is used to control the implant and its function.
Finetech Medical’s products applicable to these conditions are: