Levels of paralysis


When the nerves in the lower part of the spinal cord are damaged, the lower limbs may suffer loss of function and sensation referred to as paraparesis  (weakness in lower limbs) or paraplegia (complete loss of function in lower limbs).

In some countries the term biplegia is used.

Damage in the cervical region affects all the nerves running through it and thus both the upper and lower limbs are compromised, a condition known as quadraparesis (weakness in all 4 limbs)  or quadraplegia (complete loss of function in upper and lower limbs).

An equivalent term is tetraplegia.

If only one side of the cord is damaged, symptoms may be experienced in only half the body (left or right side) and the term hemiplegia is applied.


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