A complete spinal cord injury refers to the fact that a patient has no movement below the level of injury. In an incomplete injury, a patient may have movement, but it's usually degraded by spasticity. In this case, it looks a little bit more like a stroke: a patient's muscles clench, their arms are tight, their legs are stiff and they have difficulty opening and closing the hand, for example. When this is the case, there are different options available to restore their function. Some patients we treat as if a stroke, and we try to find the most dysfunctional spastic muscles and eliminate them from interfering with activity. In other patients, if there is an adjacent nerve that has very good control, we will transfer that nerve to replace the spastic control with normal control.
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