What is the ISNCSCI classification of spinal cord injuries?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS, FAANS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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The International Standards for Neurological and Functional Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) is a widely accepted system describing the level and extent of injury based on a systematic motor and sensory examination of neurologic function. [1, 2] The following terminology has developed around the classification of spinal cord injuries:

  • Tetraplegia (replaces the term quadriplegia): Injury to the spinal cord in the cervical region, with associated loss of muscle strength in all 4 extremities

  • Paraplegia: Injury in the spinal cord in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral segments, including the cauda equina and conus medullaris

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