Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Part 1— The Body Before and After Injury

This fact sheet is intended to be a starting point for understanding the normal functions of the spinal cord and how those functions might change after a spinal cord injury. The impact of an injury is different for each person, so it is impossible to answer every individual question, but this summary answers some of the common questions.

This summary covers:

  • What is the spine, the spinal cord, and what the spinal cord does.
  • What a spinal cord injury is, and an introduction to “level of injury” and “complete” and “incomplete” spinal cord injuries.

In order to view all pages of the PDF file you need to scroll down within the embedded PDF below.

UndstdSpinalCordInjuryPt1-508

The fact sheet is from the Spinal Cord Injury Model System Program, which is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research,Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (See https://msktc.org/sci for more information).