Quadriplegia Definition

Quadriplegia refers to paralysis from the neck down, including the trunk, legs and arms. The condition is typically caused by an injury to the spinal cord that contains the nerves that transmit messages of movement and sensation from the brain to parts of the body. Quadriplegia is most likely to occur from a spinal cord injury to the neck at C5 (cervical 5) to C7 (cervical 7). The spinal cord cannot transmit messages below the damaged area, resulting in the loss of mobility in the arms and legs and the loss of function in breathing, bowel and bladder control. In some cases, slight movement can be regained through intensive rehabilitation.