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Spinal cord injury 

Spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury

Anthony B. Ward

, Michael P. Barnes

, Sandra C. Stark

, and Sarah Ryan

Page of

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date: 18 October 2019

Background 312

Early acute management 314

Dermatomes, myotomes, and associated reflexes 316

General post-acute management—management of the spine 318

General post-acute management—management of medical problems 320

Later rehabilitation 322

Longer-term issues 326

Later medical complications 328

Issues of participation 330

Spinal cord injury is an excellent example of the improvement in survival and quality of life that can follow from a modern rehabilitation programme. In the early part of the twentieth century nine out of ten people with spinal cord injury died within 1 year and only 1% survived in the long term. Now life expectancy is only modestly reduced. A 20-year-old male would normally be expected to have around 58 years of further life and this is reduced to about 48 years in those with paraplegia and in those with tetraplegia to around 35 years of further life....

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