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The Difference Between Quadriplegia and Paraplegia

The terms quadriplegia and paraplegia are often used interchangeably or referred to under the umbrella term paralysis. However, it should be noted that while both are very serious, they affect people in very different ways. Both paraplegia and quadriplegia are caused by a severe spinal cord injury, but exactly where the spine is injured is where the difference lies. Below are both conditions and what make them different:


Paraplegia is paralysis that can be partial or complete in two limbs, most frequently the legs. This kind of paralysis occurs when the mid to lower part of the spinal spinal cord is damaged, specifically the thoracic and lumbar region, as well as the sacral region.


Another form of paralysis in its own right, quadriplegia affects the arms, legs, and the hips. Quadriplegia is the result of injury to the upper part of the spine, areas C1 through C4. Quadriplegia further limits movement and can be extremely difficult to live with.
Treatment for the two can also widely vary. A victim of paraplegia can be hospitalized for up to five months, plus therapy. This therapy assists them in transitioning to their new condition. On the other hand, victims of quadriplegia often undergo over six months of physical therapy and rehabilitation before they can even leave the hospital in the first place. While any kind of paralysis can be extremely debilitating, it is not impossible to live a full life with either condition. However, gaining independence with either one of these conditions occurs with extensive therapy but while helpful, therapy can be extremely prohibitive in cost. The prospect of being treated at the hospital is often too much for a victim, let alone extended therapy.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury that’s resulted in paralysis, you need to contact a personal injury attorney who could help. Contact experienced, aggressive personal injury attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. by phone or online today to schedule your case consultation.



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