(redirected from quadriplegic)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to quadriplegic: Christopher Reeve


paraplegia (pârˌəplēˈjēə), paralysis of the lower part of the body, commonly affecting both legs and often internal organs below the waist. When both legs and arms are affected, the condition is called quadriplegia. Paraplegia and quadriplegia are caused by an injury or disease that damages the spinal cord, and consequently always affects both sides of the body. The extent of the paralysis depends on the level of the spinal cord at which the damage occurs. For example, damage to the lowest area of the cord may result only in paralysis of the legs, whereas damage farther up on the cord causes possible loss of control over the muscles of the bladder and rectum as well or, if occurring even higher, may result in paralysis of all four limbs and loss of control over the muscles involved in breathing.

Most frequently the cause is an injury that either completely severs the spinal cord or damages some of the nervous tissue in the cord. Such damage could result from broken vertebrae that press against the cord. Diseases that cause paraplegia or quadriplegia include spinal tuberculosis, syphilis, spinal tumors, multiple sclerosis, and poliomyelitis. Sometimes when the disease is treated and cured, the paralysis disappears, but usually the nerve damage is irreparable and paralysis is permanent. Treatment of paraplegia and quadriplegia is aimed at helping to compensate for the paralysis by means of mechanical devices and through psychological and physical therapy.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


Paralysis affecting the four extremities of the body; may be spastic or flaccid.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Pathol paralysis of all four limbs, usually as the result of injury to the spine
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Approximately 52 percent are paraplegic and 47 percent are quadriplegic.
None of the boys was severely injured, but the accident left Bavlsik a quadriplegic. He now moves about in a motorized wheelchair.
"In a few years, the quadriplegics and the amputees, it's just going to help," she said.
Mr Cameron, whose son Ivan suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy and died in 2009 aged six, told a press conference in Downing Street: "I have every sympathy with the incredible difficulty that families have with bringing up disabled children, particularly when, as in the case of Riven''s child, they are quadriplegic and have to have a huge amount of help around the clock, 24 hours a day.
Similarly, a quadriplegic woman with severe multiple sclerosis was able to write for the first time in a decade, also by using the sniff controller device to move a cursor on a computer screen by sniffing.
This innovative Power Assist System was developed by Canadian sailor Steve Alvey and Ms Lister, a quadriplegic, will use it to circumnavigate the country.
THE BONE COLLECTOR Five, 9.00pm Denzel Washington is a quadriplegic ex-cop saved from the brink of suicide by rookie officer Angelina Jolie, who needs his help to solve a murder case.
Quadriplegic, criminalist Lincoln Rhyme, accompanied by his lover, investigator Amelia Sachs and his assistant Thom, is in Avery, North Carolina, where he hopes to undergo experimental surgery to aid with spinal cord regeneration.
Contracting polio at the age of thirteen, Greig became a quadriplegic but has now been able to share her passion in this lovely picture book for preschoolers.
A DISABLED yachtswoman aiming to become the first female quadriplegic to sail solo around Britain, has had to be rescued, the RNLI said yesterday.
Life with a quadriplegic can be an adventure in and of itself.
The Broken Window is Jeffrey Deaver's 23rd novel and his eighth chronicling the exploits of quadriplegic forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme.