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These Are the Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

December 21, 2020

Spinal cord injuries are unfortunately common, but there are several types. The types of spinal cord injuries range in severity.

If you’ve suffered an injury to your spinal cord, or you’re just curious and you’re interested in learning the varieties, we’ve got a brief guide for you. Keep reading to learn all about the different types of spinal cord injuries that you could get.


Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

Complete spinal cord injuries are more serious than incomplete spinal cord injuries. It can lead to quadriplegia or an inability for the brain to send signals throughout the body. This is what leads to paralysis. A patient may only lose movement and feeling in certain parts of their body, or the entire body leading to tetraplegia or paraplegia.

Tetraplegia is full-body paralysis and paraplegia is the loss of function in the lower half of the body.

Losing feeling or function in various parts of the body can lead to other severe conditions as the patient is no longer able to feel pain. Health conditions or injuries may go unnoticed until a medical visit.

All other listed forms of SCIs are incomplete spinal cord injuries. Incomplete spinal injuries only partially stop the communication from the brain to the body.

Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard syndrome happens when there’s only damage to one side of the spinal cord. This is still going to result in a loss of function or feeling, but it will only affect one side of the body.

Someone may have a complete function on their right side while the left is numb or unusable. There may be some function on the affected side, but it may go numb. The other side of the body may lose some functionality or it may stay completely functional.

Central Cord Syndrome

Central cord syndrome affects the center of the spinal cord. It often results in the loss of fine motor skills and feeling in the upper extremities, as well as upper-body paralysis.

The lower body can be affected as well, though it’s not as common to have lower-body paralysis. Patients may lose sexual functionality or bladder and bowel control

Anterior Cord Syndrome

Anterior cord syndrome happens when there’s a spinal cord injury in the front of the spine. When this happens, the patient may still experience some sensation. The movement will be impaired.


Triplegia isn’t a spinal cord injury per se, it’s the result of one. It’s often the result of an incomplete SCI. With triplegia, both legs and one arm will be rendered motionless and without sensation. This is one of the more serious results of an incomplete spinal cord injury.

Have You Suffered One of These Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?

All types of spinal cord injuries are serious, regardless of their outcomes. They can lead to lifelong pain or impairment, but you don’t need to suffer alone.

Our orthopedic spine specialists know how to help you lead a more comfortable life despite your injury. Visit our site and contact us to book an appointment today.

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