There’s more to paralysis than not being able to move. Victoria reveals the hidden medical challenges faced by people with spinal injuries
Paralysis is rather like an iceberg. The bit you can see, the not-being-able-to-walk palaver, is just the tip. Suffering a spinal injury has a number of other effects on the body which most of the time remain hidden from public gaze, but which can be just as difficult to come to terms with.
One unwelcome physical change a wheelchair user may encounter is dislocated hips. Over time, as muscles grow weaker through disuse, they become less effective at holding joints in place, so it’s not uncommon for paraplegics to experience dislocated hips.
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About one-third of the women who come to the CNY Fertility Center in Syracuse for in-vitro fertilization wind up with embryos to spare.
If they are done having babies, they have to make a choice: Do they offer them to another couple? Do they throw them out? Do they take them home and bury them? Or do they donate the unused embryos to a scientist in California to use to try to invent new cures for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, diabetes or arthritis?
Seven years ago, Annette Ross suffered a spinal cord injury while giving birth.
(AP) — Stepping into a research area marked by controversy and fraud, Harvard University scientists said Tuesday they are trying to clone human embryos to create stem cells they hope can be used one day to help conquer a host of diseases.
“We are convinced that work with embryonic stem cells holds enormous promise,” said Harvard provost Dr. Steven Hyman.
Women with Paraplegia or Quadriplegia and of childbearing age usually regain menses; nearly 50% do not miss a single period following injury. Pregnancy is possible, and if pelvic measurements are adequate, most spinal cord injured women can have normal vaginal deliveries.
A SCI woman may be subject to certain complications of pregnancy and should discuss these with her physician. Among potential complications are premature delivery in women in whom injury occurs during pregnancy and above the T-10 level and Autonomic Dysreflexia (high blood pressure, sweating, chills, and headache) during labor. The problem is also greater during pregnancy. Loss of sensation in the pelvic area can prevent the woman’s knowledge that labor has begun. With a low level injury, the woman can assist in childbirth.
Autonomic Dysreflexia, also known as Hyperreflexia, is a state that is unique to patients after spinal cord injury at a T-5 level and above. Patients with spinal cord injuries at Thoracic 5 (T-5) level and above are very susceptible. Patients with spinal cord injuries at Thoracic 6 – Thoracic 10 (T6-T10) may be susceptible. Patients with Thoracic 10 (T-10) and below are usually not susceptible. Also, the older the injury the less likely the person will experience autonomic dysreflexia.
Autonomic dysreflexia can develop suddenly, and is a possible emergency situation. If not treated promptly and correctly, it may lead to seizures, stroke, and even death.
CHICAGO, I.L. — May 2, 2006 — Many women who sustain permanent spinal cord injury and develop resulting transitory amenorrhea may still be able to conceive children, according to a poster presented here at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).
“Amenorrhea has been proven to be stress-related, but women return to normal sexual function after transitory amenorrhea,” said Ghasa Mahmood, MD, endocrinology fellow, Martin Luther King/Charles Drew University Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States, in a presentation on April 27th.
Spinal cord trauma is most often due to accidents and usually involve the Cervical and Thoracic spine. Spinal cord injuries do not prevent conception, but they do increase the risk of other conditions that can have a huge impact on pregnancy. The degree of impact is dependent on the level of injury to the spinal cord.
As with many women, Michelle Carston of Westfield always knew she wanted to be a mom. After a 1993 diving accident, when doctors told her that she would never walk again, she took solace in knowing the injury would not prevent her from fulfilling her maternal instincts.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005, at Florida Hospital, Michelle delivered a 5-pound, 13-ounce, healthy baby boy named Pierce.
“I couldn’t wait to become a new mom,” she said. “This is the first and the last, I believe.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, accounting for more than 30% of all of their cancers. While spinal cord injury itself does not place women at higher risk of breast cancer, some of the results of SCIreduced sensation, less likelihood of bearing childrencan place SCI women in higher risk categories.
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