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Spinal cord

Spinal cord injury levels.

C3 and above FA: Inability to control muscles of breathing. SC: Unable to care for self, life-sustaining ventilatory support essential.
C4 FA: Movement of trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles, no upper extremity muscle function, minimal ventilatory capacity. SC: Unable to care for self, may self-feed with powered devices (depending on respiratory function)
C5 FA: Neck movement, possible partial strength of shoulder and biceps. SC: Can drive electric wheelchair, may be able to feed self with powered devices
C6 FA: Muscle function in C5 level; patiral strength in pectoralis major. SC: May self propel a lightweight wheelchair, may feed self with devices, can write and care for self, can transfer from chair to bed.
C7 FA: Muscle function in C6 level, no finger muscle power. SC: Can dress lower extremities, minimal assistance needed, independence in wheelchair, can drive car with hand controls.
C8 FA: Muscle function in C7 level, finger muscle power. SC: Same as C7 with greater ease.
T1-T4 FA: Good upper extremity muscle strength SC: Some independence from wheelchair, long leg braces for standing exercises.
T5-L2 FA: Balance difficulties. SC: Still requires wheel chair, ambulation with long-leg braces and crutches.
L3-L5 FA: Trunk-pelvis muscle function intact SC: May use crutches or canes for ambulation
L5-S3 FA: Waddling gait. SC: Ambulation
T6 Special note. Approximate cut off for autonomic dysreflexia.
Created by: RybackRN



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