spinal cord injury
A spinal cord injury is a damage to the spinal cord, often caused by an accident. The paralysis or paraplegia is a combination of symptoms where the nerve conduction in the spinal cord is interrupted. But also tumors or other diseases, such as Multiple sclerosis and spina bifida can result into a spinal cord injury.
The extent of the paralysis depends on the damage of the spinal cord. We distinguish here between the plegia (complete motor paralysis) and the paresis (incomplete motor paralysis).
In Austria, around 100 people are newly affected by a spinal cord injury, 80% of them are men.
As the bladder is controlled by the brain and the communication between brain and bladder is partially or totally interrupted, mostly a disorder of the nerve supply of the lower part of the body occurs which leads to a dysfunction of the urinary bladder and intestine. Depending on the height of the cross-section lesion a normal bladder emptying is not possible anymore. In the worst case this can lead to a complete breadown of the renal function. Involuntary loss of urine and stool are often associated symptoms. Regular bladder emptying by self catheterization can help in many cases.