Quadriplegia/Tetraplegia: When a person has a spinal cord injury above the first thoracic vertebra, paralysis will affect the cervical spinal nerves resulting in the paralysis of all four limbs. Furthermore, the abdominal and chest muscles will be affected, which can cause weakened breathing and the inability to properly cough. Those who suffer from this paralysis are referred to as Quadriplegic or Tetraplegic.
Paraplegia: When a personal has a spinal cord injury below the first thoracic spinal nerve, he or she may suffer from Paraplegia. The severity of the paralysis can vary, from impairment of leg movement, to complete paralysis of the legs and abdomen up to approximately the nipple line. Paraplegics have full motion and use of the arms and hands. If an injury occurs to the Cauda Equina, which is a mass of nerves that fan out from the spinal cord between the first and second Lumbar region, the result is Paraplegia, but is referred to as Cauda Equina Syndrome injury. These nerves have the ability to grow again and recover function if they are not too badly damaged.