📩 21/09/2023 12:42
Yeditepe University Hospitals Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Dr. Lecturer Member Neslihan Kurt Oktay made statements about spinal cord injuries. Yeditepe University Hospitals Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Specialist Dr. stated that spinal cord injury is a condition that can cause loss of sensory and motor functions in the body and greatly affect the patient's quality of life. Lecturer Member Neslihan Kurt Oktay defined spinal cord injuries as tragic events that radically change lives and continued her words as follows:
“The spinal cord serves as a pathway that provides two-way communication between every part of our body and the brain. It transmits sensory information occurring in the body to the brain and allows us to move by transmitting the commands from the brain to the body. In case of damage to this important pathway, which includes nerve pathways such as motor functions (such as muscle movements) and sensory functions (such as pain, touch, temperature sensation), it causes neurological function losses such as loss of sensation or muscle strength in the body, of varying severity and extent depending on the affected area. . Paralysis resulting from injury causes great difficulties not only physically, but also mentally, socially, sexually, professionally and economically. “A person with a spinal cord stroke may encounter new obstacles at every moment of their life and may require ongoing support.”
These factors increase the risk of spinal cord injury
Reminding that factors such as some professions that are prone to accidents or traumas or the presence of certain diseases may increase the risk of spinal cord injury, Dr. Lecturer Ü. Neslihan Kurt Oktay said, “Traumas are among the most common causes of spinal cord damage in the world, and motor vehicle accidents are in the first place. Traffic accidents, falls and gunshot wounds are the causes of most damage to the spinal cord. In addition, falls from heights and some close contact sports such as wrestling and ice hockey may also pose risks. Such traumatic events can cause damage by applying direct blow or pressure to the spinal cord and cause neurological deficits. Additionally, people with weak and fragile bones, such as those with osteoporosis, may experience spinal fractures as a result of a fall or minor trauma, which can lead to spinal cord injury. In addition, vascular occlusions in the spinal cord region, infections, rheumatic and connective tissue diseases, space-occupying lesions such as tumors, and developmental abnormalities may also cause damage in this region. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease or Multiple Sclerosis can affect the spinal cord and increase the risk of injury. Proper medical care and treatment is important to deal with such medical conditions and prevent spinal cord injuries. “It is also important for people with such conditions to be careful and take appropriate precautions to reduce the risk of falls and trauma.” He made a statement.
"The severity of the damage increases depending on the cause."
Explaining that the severity of spinal cord injury may vary depending on the type, location and severity of the injury, Dr. Lecturer Ü. Kurt Oktay gave the following information about complete spinal cord injuries and partial spinal cord injuries and the problems that may arise:
“These types of injuries cause varying degrees of disease severity and paralysis depending on the extent of damage to the spinal cord and the area affected. Complete spinal cord injury refers to a situation in which the spinal cord is completely severed or severely damaged. These types of injuries completely block transmission on the spinal cord and can cause paralysis of the lower body. Its severity is usually at its highest level. As a result of partial injury types, which indicate that the damage to the spinal cord is partial, a specific area or function of the body is affected, and the severity of the disease is generally less than that of complete spinal cord injuries. In addition, spinal cord injury can lead to different consequences depending on which area of the spinal cord is affected. “For example, a spinal cord injury at the neck level can sometimes cause complete paralysis of the lower body, while an injury at the waist level can only cause partial paralysis of the legs.”
Signs that indicate damage to the spinal cord
Dr. Lecturer Ü. K. Oktay noted the following about the signs that indicate damage to the spinal cord, although the symptoms of spinal cord damage may vary from person to person and depending on the severity of the damage:
“Motor paralysis may develop in certain areas of the body, such as certain muscle groups or the lower part of the body, and may not move. It may also cause changes in sensory sensations such as touch, pain, temperature, or vibration. Sometimes numbness, tingling or insensitivity to pain may be experienced. Spinal cord damage can affect urinary and bowel control, leading to problems such as urinary incontinence or constipation. Spinal cord injuries at the neck level can affect breathing control, which can lead to breathing problems. "In addition to loss of muscle strength or muscle mass, it can also be the source of problems related to the autonomic system, such as spinal cord damage, loss of blood pressure control, sweating and sexual function problems."
“Time is a very important factor”
Dr. underlines that the symptoms of spinal cord injury may differ from person to person and may vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Lecturer Ü. Kurt Oktay pointed out that there is a possibility and risk of missing the diagnosis and treatment processes, especially when the symptoms are not considered seriously or the symptoms are misinterpreted.
Pointing out the time factor in case of any spinal cord injury, Dr. Lecturer Ü. Kurt Oktay continued: “Sometimes spinal cord injury can manifest itself only with urinary incontinence or loss of bowel control, which may lead to a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal cord injury. Symptoms of spinal cord injury can include serious conditions that require immediate medical attention. Remember that rapid referral and intervention in cases of suspected spinal cord injury minimizes the risk of missing this disease, helps to evaluate the type and severity of the injury and start appropriate treatment as soon as possible, and minimizes the consequences of this damage. “
"Quality of life can be improved with treatment"
Saying that physiotherapy and rehabilitation in the treatment of spinal cord injuries will help the patient achieve his best potential, Dr. Lecturer Ü. Neslihan Kurt Oktay said that it can increase the patient's quality of life by preventing and treating complications.
Explaining that the rehabilitation process includes a plan specific to the individual needs of the patient and therefore requires a multidisciplinary approach, Dr. Lecturer Ü. Kurt Oktay said, “Therefore, it cooperates with physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and other health professionals in this process. Spinal cord injury rehabilitation helps a person achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life.” he said.
“Spinal cord injuries don't just happen as a result of bad luck.”
”In the fight against spinal cord injury, early diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and support are important. The most important point we should not forget is that spinal cord injuries do not occur only as a result of bad luck. “Many of these types of injuries are preventable.” said Dr. Lecturer Ü. Neslihan Kurt Oktay concluded her words as follows:
“Simple measures such as taking safety precautions and using protective equipment during traffic accidents and sports injuries can reduce spinal cord injuries. Let's support individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries; Let's please adopt the protective equipment and precautions that seem simple and save our lives when applied, and let's be aware of this difficult process. “Let's not forget that people with spinal cord injuries can live their lives with the support of a strong and supportive community.”