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Paraplegia
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Paraplegia

Hi All,

Does anybody know if I meet the definition of Paraplegia? I am in a wheelchair, but not wheelchair bound. I can walk when the pain isn't too much by taking very small baby-like steps. The wheelchair was ordered by a Physical Therapist when he noted weakness in both legs and the beginnings of foot drop on my right foot. At the time, the weakness/foot drop worsened throughout the day. The time of the examination was only 10:30 a.m. and I hadn't walked at all that day.

I am wondering if I meet the definition of Paraplegia because I am filling out a membership form for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. While it is not required to be paralyzed to join the organization, I want to make sure that I am filling out the form correctly.

Thanks!
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219373 tn?1274925034
my husband is a member of the PVA and is not totally paralyzed.  He is a quadraplaegic...definition, he has lost some degree of function in all four limbs...he was a total quadraplaegic at one time right after his spinal cord injury, but he currently has enough function to walk with support.  

here is the definition:

Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities. The word comes from Ionic Greek: παραπληγίη "half-striking". It is usually the result of spinal cord injury or a congenital condition such as spina bifida which affects the neural elements of the spinal canal.

The area of the spinal canal which is affected in paraplegia is either the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions. If both arms are also affected by paralysis, quadriplegia is the proper terminology. If only one limb is affected the correct term is monoplegia.

Paraplegia is most often a result of a traumatic injury to the spinal cord nervous tissue or the resulting inflammation and swelling that occurs around the point of injury. Paraplegia can also be caused by non-traumatic and congenital factors such as spinal tumors, scoliosis, or spina bifida.

hope that helps.  Good luck!!
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572651 tn?1333939396
I am happy to tell you that you do NOT meet the definition of paraplegia.  That would require you to have no function - total paralysis - of the lower half of your body.

Here's hoping that you never can check that box.  

~ Lu
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Avatar m tn
Thanks Lulu, that's what I originally thought until I read the Wikipedia definition. But as most of us know, anybody can write and edit Wikipedia pages :)

I hope I can never check that box either...in fact I hope that nobody can ever check that box...that's a fate that I can't imagine.
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219373 tn?1274925034
my husband is a member of the PVA and is not totally paralyzed.  He is a quadraplaegic...definition, he has lost some degree of function in all four limbs...he was a total quadraplaegic at one time right after his spinal cord injury, but he currently has enough function to walk with support.  

here is the definition:

Paraplegia is an impairment in motor or sensory function of the lower extremities. The word comes from Ionic Greek: παραπληγίη "half-striking". It is usually the result of spinal cord injury or a congenital condition such as spina bifida which affects the neural elements of the spinal canal.

The area of the spinal canal which is affected in paraplegia is either the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions. If both arms are also affected by paralysis, quadriplegia is the proper terminology. If only one limb is affected the correct term is monoplegia.

Paraplegia is most often a result of a traumatic injury to the spinal cord nervous tissue or the resulting inflammation and swelling that occurs around the point of injury. Paraplegia can also be caused by non-traumatic and congenital factors such as spinal tumors, scoliosis, or spina bifida.

hope that helps.  Good luck!!
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572651 tn?1333939396
I just took a look at their website and see neurological diseases have their own category.  I find it encouraging that MS is included in that list, especially with the increased interest in the connection between military service and MS.  

it sounds like a good group to join.

Lu
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1045086 tn?1332130022
Paraplegia and quadriplegia can be complete or incomplete.  The descriptions speak for themselves.  There is also a term hemiplegia which refers to one side of the body having complete or incomplete loss of movement.  This is most common in people who have had strokes or other brain damage.

Mary
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751951 tn?1406636463
Thanks for that extra bit of info, Mary.  I'd heard the term hemiplegia before, and never knew what it meant.  I've also known people with one-sided paralysis, but didn't know that was the term to describe it.  We learn something new each day!
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