• News
  • Health
    • Injury
    • Trauma

Spinal Cord Shock - An Altered Physiologic State After A Spinal Cord Injury


The physical, social, and occupational well-being of patients is severely impacted by traumatic spinal cord shock or injury (SCI). As the demography of SCIs changes, a greater percentage of elderly people are becoming afflicted.

According to pathophysiology, the first mechanical trauma (the main injury) permeabilizes neurons and glia and starts a secondary injury cascade, which over the following weeks causes progressive cell death and spinal cord degeneration.

Over time, the lesion changes into cystic cavitations and a glial scar, both of which are very effective at stopping regeneration. The loss of muscle tone and spinal reflexes below the level of a severe spinal cord shock is referred to as spinal shock, also known as spinal shock syndrome.

This shock instead implies repressed spinal reflexes below the level of cord damage, not a condition of circulatory collapse. When the spinal shock is entirely gone, which might take days or months, the flaccidity that was formerly there eventually turns into spasticity.

It often follows a severe spinal cord shock or injury (SCI) that is either traumatic or ischemic, with traumatic spinal shock happening more frequently in young people and disproportionately more frequently in men than in women.

COPYRIGHT_SPINE: Published on https://spinal-injury.net/spinal-cord-shock/ by Dr. Bill Butcher on 2022-10-05T00:34:52.808Z

Meaning Of Traumatic Spinal Cord Shock

Illustration of spinal cord injury
Illustration of spinal cord injury

A traumatic spinal cord shock and injury (TSCI) is a serious injury that damages the spinal cord and can cause temporary or permanent changes in how the nerves work, such as paralysis.

Males are more likely to develop traumatic spinal cord shock injuries TSCIs than females, and the majority of cases are caused by avoidable events like falls (40%), car accidents (35%), or sports injuries (12%).

There are two types of TSCI: full and incomplete. A complete injury affects the whole length of the spinal cord, leaving the area below the site of the lesion unable to feel or move. An incomplete injury affects movement or sensation only partially because it affects a portion of the spinal cord.

What Are The Symptoms Of Spinal Cord Shock?

The kind (full or incomplete) and location of the damage affect the symptoms of a spinal cord injury. If you have any of the following symptoms following an accident, get quick medical attention:

  • A lack of power in the arms or legs.
  • Reduced feeling in the arms or legs.
  • A lack of bladders or bowel control.
  • Severe pressure or discomfort in the neck or back.
  • Strange bumps are running up my spine.
  • Trouble breathing.

Complications Of Spinal Cord Injury Trauma

The degree and extent of the damage determine any sequela. If the damage is at or above the C5 section, breathing may be hampered. Reduced movement raises the risk of pressure ulcers, atelectasis, contractures, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections.

Spasticity that is crippling might occur. Cardiovascular instability, which is frequent right after a cervical cord injury and is linked to neurogenic shock and autonomic dyslexia that happen in reaction to triggering events like pain or pressure on the body, is a typical complication. Burning or stinging are two possible symptoms of chronic neurogenic pain.

Spinal Cord Injury, Detailed - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

People Also Ask

Can You Fully Recover From The Spinal Cord Shock?

Spinal shock typically causes several symptoms, including sensory loss and paralysis. The good news is that many patients have partial or complete recovery.

How Long Does Spinal Cord Shock Last After An Injury?

After a spinal cord injury, spinal shock often lasts for days or weeks, with an average length of 4 to 12 weeks.

How Does A Spinal Cord Injury Affect The Brain?

The information from the brain cannot go via the injured spinal cord. Signals are received by the spinal nerves below the injured level, but they cannot travel up the spinal tracts to the brain.


The altered physiological condition known as spinal shock occurs right away after a spinal cord shock or injury (SCI). It manifests as flaccid paralysis, anesthesia, the absence of bowel and bladder control, and a lack of reflex activity.

Spinal shock is marked by a short rise in blood pressure, followed by low blood pressure, flaccid paralysis, urine retention, and fecal urinary incontinence.

If the symptoms do not go away within 24 hours, a prolonged recovery period and extended stay in rehabilitation may be required.

Share: Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin

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.

Recent Articles

No articles found.