Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is a condition where a human being is paralyzed and loses total use of their arms, legs, torso, or all of the above. Paraplegia is a similar condition, but it doesn’t affect the arms – quadriplegia affects all of the limbs and torso and renders a human being physically useless below the neck. The loss is both sensory and motor-motion related, and thus all sense, feeling, and control are completely lost.
The condition is usually permanent, acute, and related to either illness or a significant injury. There is a great deal of stigma with the issue, as well, since those who suffer from quadriplegia are also typically suffering from complete loss of their independence and motor skills, which can be very difficult to adjust to in daily life.
Typically, quadriplegia is an acute case and issue, meaning it is caused by one simple and quick condition, like injuries. Injuries that lead to quadriplegia typically come to the head or neck, as quadriplegics typically are those who have lost their bodily function due to a significant neck injury. Injuries can include car accidents, sports accidents for athletes, falls, and even gunshot wounds to the vertebrae in the back.
Other quadriplegics experience their condition due to degenerative or other debilitating illnesses that cause the loss of motor function and impair the healthy functioning of the spine. These illnesses can be severe, sudden, and come on without warning to truly and permanently affect people with quadriplegia.
Symptoms of quadriplegia are very simple and straightforward – it is the complete loss of all function, sense, and feeling in the arms, legs, and torso and the loss of motor skills for everything under the neck. Symptoms come on suddenly, since typically, the condition is acute and caused by an accident or other permanent and sudden issue like an injury or violent act. Symptoms are typically not slow to arrive, as they are acute, sudden, and impossible to predict.
Symptoms are typically permanent with quadriplegia, and most quadriplegics will be quadriplegics for the rest of their lives, no matter the therapy and medical work undertaken. It can be costly and time-consuming to use a permanent caregiver with quadriplegia, but it is a necessary thing to do, since the patient will be unable to take care of he or herself in any way. But with proper care, quadriplegics can live a solid enough life even with the lack of physical activity and total lack of mobility.