Medical Surgical Spinal Cord Injury #3

Question

The nurse is caring for a client with spinal cord injury at C7. The client asks the nurse, “Will I be able to ever walk again?” Which is the best response of the nurse?

Answers

  1. “Yes, hopefully with physical therapy, you will be walking in a few weeks.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although the client will benefit from physical therapy and occupational therapy, the fact remains that the client will never walk again.

  2. “Yes, you have a C7 spinal cord injury, so your legs will be numb for a few days.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a C7 spinal cord injury impairs the client’s ability to walk and the client’s bowel and bladder will also be affected with a loss of ability to control reflexes as well as muscle contractions, so the client is prone to bowel and bladder accidents.

  3. “No, a C7 spinal cord injury impairs your trunk and lower body movement and may result in quadriplegia.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the nurse is telling the client the truth that a C7 spinal cord injury impairs the trunk and lower body movements and may result in quadriplegia. Quadriplegia is paralysis involving all four extremities.

  4. “No, a C7 spinal cord injury causes paraplegia, so one leg will work, but the other one will not.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a C7 spinal cord injury impairs the trunk, lower extremities and may result in quadriplegia. Quadriplegia is paralysis involving all four extremities.

Overview

A C7 spinal cord injury impairs the ability to move the lower body, the trunk, and many times the hands and fingers. A C7 injury may result in quadriplegia.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

A C7 spinal cord injury impairs the ability to move the lower body, the trunk, and many times the hands and fingers. A C7 injury may result in quadriplegia. The client’s bowel and bladder will also be affected with a loss of ability to control reflexes as well as muscle contractions, so the client is prone to bowel and bladder accidents.

Test Taking Tip

When thinking about spinal cord injuries, tell your client the truth about the injuries and allow the client to vent regarding feelings about the injury and losses.

Video Rationale