Spinal Injury - Apollo Home Healthcare

Spinal Injury

Specialist personalised care to meet your ongoing needs

A spinal injury can affect people of all ages and can leave you with a variety of clinical care needs.

The care required for someone with a spinal injury can be complex and varied dependent on the severity and type of injury sustained and the individual care needs. Our clients can remain living as independently as possible, having a small care team in place to support them with day-to-day tasks, whilst others may require more complex interventions and full-time support.

Creating your bespoke package of care

When developing a bespoke package of care, we will work with you and your family where appropriate along with multidisciplinary teams to create a package of support that meets your clinical, social care and personal needs. We often work closely with spinal rehabilitation units and acute settings at the start of your journey to facilitate your transition home.

We consider the practical and clinical elements of your care alongside the emotional and social support aspects associated with daily life. We have vast experience of delivering spinal injury care and this has equipped us to support our clients and their families during what can be an incredibly challenging time.

How we support you

The type of care we can provide for you in your home is delivered by our highly trained Healthcare Assistants, and can include:

  • Bowel Care, including manual evacuation.
  • Autonomic Dysreflexia management.
  • Catheter care and maintenance.
  • Bladder wash.
  • Respiratory care including cough assist and ventilation.
  • Postural Hypotension.
  • Mobility support
  • Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG)
  • Physiotherapy rehabilitation working with prescribed protocols.

What is a spinal injury?

A spinal injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord resulting in a loss of function such as mobility, strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.

The spinal cord is an extension of the brain, in that the nerves within it carry messages from our brain to the rest of our body. All of these messages enable us to move and control vital functions like breathing, blood pressure, bladder and bowel movement. If the spinal cord is damaged in any way, these messages can become disrupted, affecting any functions or sensation below where the injury occurred.

Types of spinal injury

There are two main types of spinal injury: complete and incomplete.

An incomplete spinal injury means that the messages sent from the brain are not completely lost. A person who has suffered an incomplete spinal injury does not have total paralysis or loss of sensation as his or her spinal cord was not totally damaged or disrupted. This means that some sensation and movement is possible below the level of injury.

Three common types of incomplete spinal injury are:

  • Anterior Cord Syndrome – affecting motor function such as light touch, pain and temperature.
  • Central Cord Syndrome – a loss of motion and sensation in the arms and hands, usually resulting from trauma to the neck.
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome – a rare disorder that results from damage to one side of the spinal cord causing loss of position, light touch and vibration sensation.

A complete spinal injury is much more severe, and any messages sent from the brain are completely lost below the site of the injury.

There are three types of complete spinal injury:

  • Tetraplegia; The most severe form of a complete spinal injury, which can result in a partial or total sensory and motor loss in both arms, legs and the torso; impacting the ability to breathe independently.
  • Paraplegia; this is a form of paralysis that occurs in the lower half of the body affecting both legs. People with paraplegia will have mobility problems and may require the use of a wheelchair.

Talk to us about your individual care needs