What is heterotopic ossification?

Heterotopic ossifications (synonyms: myositis ossificans, periarticular ossifications PAO) are cases where muscle tissue is rapidly transformed into bone-like, calcified tissue. They occur in 20 – 30 % of people with spinal cord injuries, typically 1 – 5 months after paralysis.

The soft tissue around the hips is most frequently affected, often on both sides....

What are contractures and how do they develop?

Contractures are shortenings of muscles, tendons or ligaments that have a limiting effect on the movements of the joints. The normal ability to move a joint is lost. Contractures are frequently attributable to the patient’s positioning. They occur when muscles and joints are not stretched or moved often enough. If, for example, the knees are...

Erectile dysfunction

Men with spinal cord injury (SCI) may experience erection problems, also known as “erectile dysfunction”. This is the case if it becomes permanently impossible to have an erection that lasts long enough to have sexual intercourse. It depends on the level of SCI and whether it is a complete or incomplete SCI. In general, however, the higher the level of SCI, the greater...

In some cases, support is needed for cleaning the nasopharyngeal space and keeping it free from secretion. For this purpose, suctioning is performed through the nose and, if necessary, the mouth. This is particularly necessary if the nose cannot be blown properly by the patient or if the mouth cannot be rinsed.

Suctioning is also performed through the tracheostomy (trach) tubes at least...

Body & Complications

Structure of the spinal column and nervous system

The nervous system consists of a central, a peripheral and a vegetative part. The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. The nervous system is used for the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of information. Together with the hormone systems, it controls the...

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Bladder & Bowel

Bladder paralysis

Normal bladder function

If the bladder is empty, the bladder muscle (detrusor) relaxes and the sphincter contracts – the bladder is shut.

The nerves connected to the bladder wall register the bladder stretching, and as it fills, they carry a message to the brain. During urination, the...

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Daily Life & Mobility

ParaHelp – experience and competence for you at home

ParaHelp specialises in advice and care for patients with spinal cord injuries, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or spina bifida. Together with the patients themselves, their relatives and experts, we develop individual solutions to the challenges of everyday life. We help to prevent...

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Health & Sexuality

Spinal cord injury as a critical life event

The occurrence of a spinal cord injury, whether caused by an accident, illness or medical intervention, is unforeseeable and usually happens very quickly. It is like a turning point in life and nothing seems the same afterwards. Many things that used to be familiar, safe and controllable are no...

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