Lumbar (L1-L5) Spinal Cord Injuries

Your spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves running through your backbone. The spinal cord brings nerves, which are the first line of communication from your brain. That means they control big regions of your body. Nerves from the spinal cord branch off the smaller nerves, offering more localized control. Thus, if you are suffering from a spinal cord injury, it could lead to a permanent loss of sensations or movements for a huge portion of the body. One of the common injuries in the spinal cord is the lumbar spinal cord injury.


The lumbar spine is situated in the lower part of the back under the thoracic and cervical regions of our spine. It is composed of 5 vertebrae called L1 to L5. Such lumbar vertebrae are composed of spinal cord nerves and tissues. That devises the communication between the legs and brain. Harm to your lumbar spinal cord consequently impacts your groin area and hips. It might also affect your lower abdominal muscles as well as thigh flexion.


Keep in mind that lumbar spinal cord might be incomplete or complete. It might also impact one or both parts of our body. The completeness of your spinal cord injury will identify how serious the symptoms and injury would be for the patient.


You must be informed that the lumbar vertebrae are not the same as the higher sections of the spine. That’s because the spinal cord doesn’t stretch to the whole length of your lumbar spine. What’s more, L2 is the bottommost vertebral segment composing of spinal cord tissue. After that point, nerve roots leave each of the rest of lumbar levels outside your spinal cord.


Remember that the injuries below this level impact your legs and hips. It might also initiate numbness ranging to your feet. Plus, it might damage the tip of your spinal cord referred to as caudal equine. That is the pack of nerve roots as well as spinal nerves, innervating the lower lumbar backbone to the sacrum.



Lumbar Spine Anatomy

Vertebral fragments openly connect to spinal cord parts as a fetus. Meanwhile, the spinal column develops and matures longer than the spinal cord for adult. They don’t connect to each other anymore. You see, the spinal cord finishes around the L2 or L1 vertebrae in adults. That creates the conus medullairs. The horsetail-designed region is the cauda equina. It ranges past the conus medullairs.


The Viewpoint of the Injury

Damages to your lumbar spine are serious. The good thing here is that they are not life-threatening. Prompt treatment is vital to the diagnosis of this type of spinal cord injury. Patients who are suffering from this ailment could be independent for their own hygienic and mobility requirements.


A lot of patients can steer around in their standard wheelchair. They might be able to stroll for short distances as well. The only problem with people who have this condition is a weakness. Therefore, physical therapy is necessary throughout the stage of recovery.


Cauda equina syndrome impacts the lumbar spine. It is known as a medical crisis too. That syndrome is frequently hard to determine from the similarly situated conus medullaris syndrome. Take note that CES impacts the nerves of your lumbar spine. That might initiate incontinence and worse might possibly enduring paralysis of your legs. The signs and symptoms of the patients might come on gradually. However, after it is diagnosed, it needs prompt surgery.


Common Symptoms of Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries

Individuals who are experiencing this kind of injury might experience the following:

  • Lack of control of bladder or bowels
  • Capability to ambulate with braces or other walking devices
  • The necessity for a manual wheelchair for full-time or part-time use
  • Paraplegia with functional independence


Typical Causes of Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries

Below are the most typical causes of lumbar spinal cord injuries:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Degeneration
  • Birth defect
  • Falls
  • Trauma
  • Motor vehicle incidents


What are the Treatments?

You will find different treatments accessible for lumbar spinal cord injuries. Some of them are listed below:

  • Surgery. A fusion of the vertebrae and surgical decompression are performed to lower pressure around the spinal nerves.
  • Therapy. Physical therapy is performed to support power in the parts influenced by spinal cord injury. Occupational therapy is performed to help patients to understand how to function
  • Drugs. NSAID drugs are utilized in curing lumbar spinal cord injuries. It lowers swellings that surround the spinal cord.
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