Spinal Cord Infarction
Spinal cord infarction is a stroke either within the spinal cord or the arteries that supply it. It is caused by arteriosclerosis or a thickening or closing of the major arteries to the spinal cord. Frequently spinal cord infarction is caused by a specific form of arteriosclerosis called atheromatosis, in which a deposit or accumulation of lipid-containing matter forms within the arteries. Symptoms, which generally appear within minutes or a few hours of the infarction, may include intermittent sharp or burning back pain, aching pain down through the legs, weakness in the legs, paralysis, loss of deep tendon reflexes, loss of pain and temperature sensation, and incontinence.
Treatment is symptomatic. Physical and occupational therapy may help individuals recover from weakness or paralysis. A catheter may be necessary for patients with urinary incontinence.
Recovery depends upon how quickly treatment is received and how severely the body is compromised. Paralysis may persist for many weeks or be permanent. Most individuals have a good chance of recovery.
NINDS conducts and supports research on disorders of the spinal cord such as spinal cord infarction, aimed at learning more about these disorders and finding ways to prevent and treat them.
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Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
The Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.
636 Morris Turnpike
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Tel: Short Hills
National Spinal Cord Injury Association
The National Spinal Cord Injury Association is dedicated to improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with the results of spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) and their families. NSCIA, educates and empowers survivors of SCI/D to achieve and maintain the highest levels of independence, health and personal fulfillment.
120-34 Queens Boulevard, #1320
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Tel: Kew Gardens
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
Non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of its members—more than 19,000 veterans paralyzed by spinal cord injury or disease, as well as caregivers and others affected by these disabilities—through advocacy, education, and research programs.
801 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-3517