by Joseph S. Butler
Spinal cord injury (SCI), and in particular cervical SCI, remains a devastating and catastrophic event for patients, their families and society, often producing severe and permanent disability. Moreover, the emotional and psychological consequences of coping with a disabling injury can be profound. SCIs are very often permanent, yet potentially preventable. Despite significant medical and technological advances in recent years the overall mortality for spinal injury patients remains largely unchanged. Understanding the epidemiology, aetiology, medical and psychological factors associated with cervical spinal cord injury remains crucial in order to advance our knowledge on the identification of such devastating injuries, their possible prevention and ultimately on how to best manage the widespread physical, social and psychological effects of SCI at an individual and societal level. This book endeavors to describe the epidemiology of cervical spinal cord injury and to summarize some of the primary outcomes associated with this type of injury. We devote chapters to such key topics as: Operative and non-operative outcomes following SCI; whiplash injury; neurological, respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary complications post cervical SCI and the psychological impact of cervical SCI; among others. This book does not provide an exhaustive background on the area of cervical spinal cord injury but rather compiles key information on the most commonly associated comorbid issues accompanying cervical spinal cord injury and encapsulates it to provide an accessible account of some principal topics relating to this particular type of SCI.
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