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Spinal Cord Injuries

60% of spinal cord injuries are under the age of 30 years. It is more common in young adult males. Causes of 85% of cases in Turkey are traffic accidents and falling down. 2/3 of the spinal cord injuries are paraplegic (paralysis of the legs) and 1/3 of them are tetraplegic (paralysis of the arms and legs).

Patients with spinal cord injuries are mostly curious about whether they will walk. With rehabilitation, all patients have significant functional gains, but this may not be at the gait level. The level of spinal cord injury, whether the injury is complete or partial, age of the patient and concomitant diseases are effective factors for ambulation (mobilization, displacement). There is a higher chance of moving for injuries in the lower levels than in the levels close to the brain, of partial injuries compared to the full ones, of young people and people without other diseases than the elderly.

From the outset, the patient is placed in an appropriate position to prevent joint stiffness (contracture) and to suppress spasticity. Passive range of motion exercises are performed once a day in the loose period and 2-3 times a day in the spastic period. The position should be changed every 2 hours to prevent bed sores. As the development of potential patients is provided, changing the places on the bed, sitting, getting into a wheelchair, standing, balance, walking, and occupational trainings are provided step by step. Most patients with spinal cord injury are rehabilitated inpatient, at least initially. Patients can be taken as outpatients as long as they are able to ambulate. With robotic rehabilitation, it may be possible to have the patient stand up at an earlier stage and provide gait training.