Symptoms will depend on how much of the spinal cord is involved. By definition, paraplegia only occurs in people who have lower spinal cord involvement. Symptoms include:
- Loss of movement or muscle control in the legs, feet, toes, or trunk
- Loss of sensation in the legs, feet, toes, or trunk
- Tingling in the legs, feet, toes, or trunk
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Sexual dysfunction
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.
Most often, neurosurgeons, orthopedists and neurologists are involved in diagnosis after a paralytic injury has occurred.
Tests may include the following:
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body, in this case the head or spine
—a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body, in this case the head or spine
—a type of x-ray that uses an injection of a contrast medium to view the spinal cord
- Blood tests, including complete blood count (CBC)
- Evoked potential nerve tests
to obtain spinal fluid for diagnostic testing