Physiopathology of Spinal Cord Injury, pp. 681-691
Authors: Sergio Henrique do Amaral
Abstract: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a highly incapacitating nosologic entity. Often, patients affected by this disease suffer functional restrictions that impede their return to normal professional and leisure activities. Patients with spinal cord injury have a high rate of associated morbidities, as well as multiple and prolonged hospital internment, with a mortality rate, only in the period of the first internment, of 4.4% to 16.7%. Thus, it is necessary to promote suitable mechanisms to prevent the occurrence of spinal cord injury and more efficiently treat patients with the condition, which will be possible with the expansion of knowledge regarding its pathophysiology. The pathophysiology of traumatic spinal cord injury involves understanding two lesion mechanisms, or moments: the primary and the secondary. The primary lesion is the result of the initial mechanical trauma. It can be understood as a combination of the initial impact with a possible subsequent compression. There is a direct and immediate relationship with the trauma and, once it occurs, it is irreversible. Such trauma determines damage to the axons, glial cells and blood vessels to different degrees (partial or complete). The only way to avoid the primary lesion is to prevent the occurrence of the trauma, which can only be achieved with education and public awareness policies aimed at reducing the incidence of such lesions.