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Purpose: The purpose was to explore the experiences and needs of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) who can walk. Method: Thematic analysis was undertaken on the transcripts of semistructured interviews with 12 individuals who could walk following SCI. Results: Experiences shared across the group were related to walking in hospital and community settings, fatigue, frustration and invisible impairments. A need was identified for psychological support whilst in hospital and beyond. Professional and peer support following discharge from hospital were needed to assist with adjusting to their injury. Differences were noted between the experiences and needs of persons who had sustained their injury through a traumatic cause and persons who had sustained their injury through nontraumatic cause and the rehabilitation environment in which participants were hospitalized. Conclusion: The lived experiences of the general cohort in this small-scale study suggest that innovative strategies/programs be developed to address the needs of walkers within inpatient settings and following their discharge into the community. Programs should include self-help mental health strategies. Programs are required to better inform health professionals of the needs of this subset of the spinal cord injured population. Attention should be drawn particularly towards the needs of persons who had sustained their injury through nontraumatic cause. [Box: see text].
Northern Sydney Home Nursing Service , Sydney , Australia.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Disability and rehabilitation
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Repair of the damaged neuron function after SPINAL CORD INJURY or SPINAL CORD DISEASES.
A syndrome associated with traumatic injury to the cervical or upper thoracic regions of the spinal cord characterized by weakness in the arms with relative sparing of the legs and variable sensory loss. This condition is associated with ischemia, hemorrhage, or necrosis involving the central portions of the spinal cord. Corticospinal fibers destined for the legs are spared due to their more external location in the spinal cord. This clinical pattern may emerge during recovery from spinal shock. Deficits may be transient or permanent.
Pathologic conditions which feature SPINAL CORD damage or dysfunction, including disorders involving the meninges and perimeningeal spaces surrounding the spinal cord. Traumatic injuries, vascular diseases, infections, and inflammatory/autoimmune processes may affect the spinal cord.
Reduced blood flow to the spinal cord which is supplied by the anterior spinal artery and the paired posterior spinal arteries. This condition may be associated with ARTERIOSCLEROSIS, trauma, emboli, diseases of the aorta, and other disorders. Prolonged ischemia may lead to INFARCTION of spinal cord tissue.
Ischemia or infarction of the spinal cord in the distribution of the anterior spinal artery, which supplies the ventral two-thirds of the spinal cord. This condition is usually associated with ATHEROSCLEROSIS of the aorta and may result from dissection of an AORTIC ANEURYSM or rarely dissection of the anterior spinal artery. Clinical features include weakness and loss of pain and temperature sensation below the level of injury, with relative sparing of position and vibratory sensation. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp1249-50)
Spinal Cord Disorders
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