Spinal cord injury, pressure injury, and amputation

AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Posts: 74Moderator, Information Specialist Information Specialist
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Taking care of your skin is a priority with spinal cord injury. Decreased sensation and lack of movement is a combination that takes a toll on skin. Diminished or absent sensation prevents a message from being sent to the brain telling your subconscious that you are uncomfortable, or that the blood flow to an area is being compromised. The brain can have difficulty sending messages through the affected area of the spinal cord to move your body as needed.

When sensation and activity are limited, the inside of the skin presses against the tissues inside your body. Especially dangerous are the areas of skin that are over boney prominences. These are the ending parts of bone that are typically rounded or pointed. Weight will cause the bone to press against the tissue inside the body leading to decreased blood flow through the capillaries and blood vessels. Lack of blood flow restricts oxygen to tissue. Without oxygen and nutrients to living tissue, internal tissue damage occurs. The damage will be internally at first but as time passes, you will see a red area or open area on your skin.

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