C3, C4, & C5 Spinal Injuries
C3, C4, and C5 spinal cord injuries can be life-threatening and permanently alter ones lifestyle.Watch Our Video
The most common causes of cervical vertebrae injury and spinal cord damage include a spinal fracture from diving accidents and sports, as well as medical complications. Other common causes include:
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury corresponding to C3 vertebrae include:
Patients with C4 spinal cord injuries typically need 24 hour-a-day support to breathe and maintain oxygen levels. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury corresponding to C4 vertebrae include:
Damage to the spinal cord at the C5 vertebra affects the vocal cords, biceps, and deltoid muscles in the upper arms. Unlike some of the higher cervical injuries, a patient with a C5 spinal cord injury will likely be able to breathe and speak on their own. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury corresponding to C5 vertebrae include:
Unfortunately, there is no treatment which will completely reverse the spinal cord damage from a cervical vertebrae injury at the C3 - C5 levels. Medical care is focused on preventing further damage to the spinal cord and utilization of remaining function.
Current treatments available for patients are:
A spinal fracture may be remedied with surgery, but the abnormal movement of vertebrae or pieces of bone can cause a more severe spinal cord injury.
It is an unfortunate truth that there are not many options to date to completely recover from a cervical spinal cord injury. Medical researchers are continuously looking into new drug therapies to help regain sensory and motor function. The use of stem cells is seen more and more in research as these cells are specialized enough to possibly regenerate damaged spinal cord tissues. Lab study results show greater sensory and motor function in those patients treated with stem cells for spinal cord damage.