Q: What is a spinal cord injury?

A: A spinal cord injury occurs when cells within the spinal cord are damaged or when the nerve tracts that relay signals up and down the spinal cord are severed. This usually occurs when a traumatic event such as a fall or other impact affect the spine.

Common types of spinal cord injuries are:

  • Contusion – caused by a bruising of the spinal cord
  • Compression – caused by pressure on the spinal cord
  • Laceration – occurs when nerve fibers tear or are severed
  • Central Cord syndrome – occurs when there is specific damage to the corticospinal tracts of the cervical region of the spinal cord.
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