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Paraplegia

An injury characterized by the paralysis (loss of muscle function and sensation) of a person’s arms or legs (injury to both areas is calledquadriplegia).

This type of paralysis may be total or partial, depending on how much of the spinal cord is damaged.

Causes
This disorder is typically caused by injury to the spinal cord, below the neck. Paraplegia can also stem from certain nerve diseases such asmultiple sclerosis. Another common cause of paraplegia results from injuries sustained in automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents. Because of the high impact and pressure exerted on a victim, a crash can easily suscept people to spinal cord damage.

Symptoms
Symptoms of paraplegia include loss of muscle function and sensation below the level of injury and loss of firmness to the arm or leg muscles. An injured person may also experience loss of bladder and bowel control, sexual dysfunctions, cardiovascular complications and depression.

Treatment Procedures
If a person has suffered from a spinal cord injury that causes paraplegia, they must receive immediate medical attention in order to brace their spine. This is done to prevent further injury that can be caused by premature movement.

Recovering from a spinal cord injury is done through acute hospital rehabilitation techniques, such as physical therapy, mobility training with wheelchairs and counseling.

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Patella Fracture

An injury characterized by a break in the patella bone, a large bone located at the front of the knee. This bone both protects and supports the front of the knee joint.

Causes
A patella fracture is a common result of a direct blow to the knee, such as in automobile crashes where a person strikes their knee against the dashboard. Also, exerting excessive pressure on the knee (through activities like weight lifting or climbing) can also be a cause of this type of fracture.

Symptoms
Symptoms of a patella fracture include moderate to severe pain in the knee, swelling and bruising to the area and inability to extend or walk on the affected leg.

Treatment Procedures
If the patella is not severely injured, the affected person can wear a cast around their knee until the bone heals on its own. After it has healed completely, physical therapy may be done to improve range-of-motion and strength to the injured area.

If the patella is severely injured (broken into pieces) the affected person will have to undergo surgery. There are two types of surgery that may be issued to a person with a patella fracture:

  • Open reduction – A surgical procedure where the broken pieces of the patella are put back together and re-positioned, using metal plates and screws to hold them together.
  • Patellectomy – A surgical procedure where a partial or complete kneecap is removed.

Physical therapy is assigned after a person has surgery for a patella fracture.

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Patellar Tendon

A thick, fibrous cord that extends downward from the thigh to attach the patella bone in the knee to the shinbone. This provides the ability of the knee joint to be extended.

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Post Concussion Syndrome

A complex disorder referring to the continued effects and symptoms (such as headaches and dizziness) one receives after a brain injury. These symptoms typically begin about 10 days after the initial injury occurred and can last for weeks or months.

Causes
The exact cause of post concussion syndrome is unknown, however it may be due to injury from brain damage or ongoing emotional or psychological stress that affects a persons day-to-day functionality.

Symptoms
Symptoms of post concussion syndrome can vary from person to person, but may include headache, dizziness, nausea, mood differences, changes in vision and fatigue.

Treatment Procedures
Many treatments for post concussion syndrome include different types of therapy, from psychological treatment to neurotherapy, in order to help an injured person with issues like regaining memory and coping with stress. In some cases where a concussion caused severe damage, surgery may be needed to relieve pressure, fix nerve endings and repair areas where blood may have pooled.

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PCL Injury

An injury characterized by a tear or strain in the posterior cruciate ligament. This ligament is located within the back of the knee that connects the thighbone to the shinbone.

Causes
Injury to the posterior cruciate ligament is often due to excessive pressure and force exerted on that area of the knee. Such force can stem from falling on a bent knee, landing hard or abnormally on the knee or dislocation. A common cause of a PCL injury can stem from being involved in an automobile accident or motorcycle accident. This is because a high amount of pressure is often exerted on the knee area during a crash, with little to no protection.

Symptoms
Symptoms of a posterior cruciate ligament injury most often include pain, swelling and bruising to the injured area and weakness and instability to the knee and leg.

Treatment Procedures
For minor tears and strains, an injured person may need only rest, compression and elevation of the knee while the ligament heals on its own. For mobility, crutches are used to alleviate pressure on the injury. If a posterior cruciate ligament is severely torn, surgery may be performed to reconstruction the ligament or reattach it to its proper position.

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