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Incomplete Tetraplegia In Which All Four Limbs Are Paralyzed Or Weak


All four limbs may be weak or paralyzed in a full quadriplegic. Individuals may still move, depending on the degree of spinal cord damage. Incomplete Tetraplegia, the most frequent kind of spinal cord damage, occurs in around 47% of all cases.

Many people with incomplete tetraplegia, also known as incomplete quadriplegia, learn how to deal with and improve their limited senses and movements, so they can live a better life.

This article will address some of the most frequently asked questions about incomplete quadriplegia to help you comprehend what to anticipate and how to deal with it, including:

  • What distinguishes tetraplegia from quadriplegia?
  • Is it feasible for someone who is completely quadriplegic to become partially quadriplegic?
  • What can a person with partial quadriplegia expect to recover?
  • Is partial quadriplegia treatable?
  • Should those with partial quadriplegia engage in physical activity?

What’s The Difference Between Tetraplegia And Quadriplegia?

COPYRIGHT_SPINE: Published on https://spinal-injury.net/incomplete-tetraplegia/ by Dr. Bill Butcher on 2022-10-05T00:34:37.345Z

Complete Versus Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Complete Versus Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

The terms tetraplegia and quadriplegia describe the same illness and are interchangeable. The Latin word Quadri and the Greek word tetra both imply "four," while the word "plegia" implies "paralysis." Together, the phrases describe limb paralysis in all four directions.

Quadriplegia, which also involves trunk paralysis in those with spinal cord injury, is a condition. This is because the regions of the spinal cord that innervate the arms are situated above those that innervate the trunk and legs.

Because the injured parts of the spinal cord stop brain signals from getting through, they can't reach the parts below the injury. Additionally, sensory messages from the body cannot reach the brain via injured portions of the spinal cord in those with spinal cord injuries.

As a result, those who have quadriplegia as a result of SCI usually lose feeling in their arms, torso, and legs.

Complete Vs Incomplete

You may often hear the phrases "complete" or "incomplete" about your spinal cord injury. An incomplete injury is one in which the spinal cord's capacity to transmit signals to or from the brain is preserved.

Additionally, movement and mild feelings are also possible below the site of damage. A full injury is when all the sensory and motor functions below the level of damage are lost.

The loss of motor and sensory function below the damaged area does not necessarily mean that there are no intact axons or nerves still crossing the lesion site, it just means that they are not working as they should because of the damage.

Symptoms And Signs For Incomplete Tetraplegia

Even though decreased limb function is the most visible indication, the torso also functions improperly. The ability to regulate respiration, digestion, bowel and bladder function, and sexual activity.

Other autonomic processes may be lost or impaired as a result. Additionally, the feeling is often compromised in the afflicted locations. Numbness, diminished feeling, or excruciating neuropathic pain are possible symptoms.

People with incomplete Tetraplegia are also more likely to get pressure sores, osteoporosis and fractures, frozen joints, spasticity, respiratory problems and infections, autonomic dyslexia, deep vein thrombosis, and heart disease because they can't move as much and can't use their muscles as well.

The extent of the spinal cord damage as well as its degree will determine how severe the disease is. The uppermost cervical vertebra, C1, located at the base of the skull, is where most injuries occur.

Affected individuals are likely to lose function from the neck down and become ventilator dependent. A person with a C7 injury may lose function from the chest down, but they will still be able to use their arms and a good portion of their hands.

What is Quadriplegia and Tetraplegia?

How Is Incomplete Tetraplegia Treated?

Depending on the underlying reason and the location of the issue in your spine, there might be a broad range of therapies for quadriplegia. Quadriplegia survivors' chances of recovery might also differ.

When dealing with trauma, the first aim is to minimize the harm and stop it from becoming worse. This is often done by fixing the patient in place with backboards, collars, or braces so that their spinal cord stays stable and nothing rubs against it or hurts it.

By taking the following steps, you can also avoid injuries and trauma to the spine:

  • Early spinal cord surgery to reduce pressure.
  • Early surgical stabilization or vertebral fusion is necessary to prevent spinal cord injury.

A healthcare professional is an ideal person to discuss the problem with because of these variables. They may be able to give you advice and important information about your specific cases, such as possible treatments and possible side effects or problems.

People Also Ask

What Is The Difference Between Complete And Incomplete Tetraplegia?

Complete spinal cord damage may result in paraplegia or tetraplegia. Partial spinal cord damage is referred to as an "incomplete spinal cord injury."

Can You Recover From An Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury?

A person with Incomplete SCI may begin to regain some function up to 18 months after the accident.

What Is The Most Common Type Of Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury?

The most common incomplete cord damage, central cord syndrome, nearly invariably results from a severe injury.


Incomplete Tetraplegia is a terrifying or debilitating sign of spinal cord or brain damage. Depending on how and why it occurs, quadriplegia often lasts a lifetime.

Although recovery prospects might vary greatly from case to case, modern medicine and medical advancements can provide some optimism.

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About The Authors

Dr. Bill Butcher

Dr. Bill Butcher - With more than two decades of experience, Dr. Bill Butcher aims to provide a repository for educational materials, sources of information, details of forthcoming events, and original articles related to the medical field and about health subjects that matter to you. His goal is to help make your life better, to help you find your way when faced with healthcare decisions, and to help you feel better about your health and that of your family. Bill received his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and spent his entire career helping people find the health and medical information, support, and services they need. His mission is to help millions of people feel fantastic by restoring them to optimal health.

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