The fourth cervical vertebra is the level where nerves run to the diaphragm. Being injured at this level will greatly affect a person's ability to care for themselves. Patients with C4 spinal cord injuries typically need 24 hour-a-day support to breathe and maintain oxygen levels. Learn More
Typical Abilities of persons with C4 Quadriplegia:
Patients with a C4 injury will generally have full head and neck movement as well as slight shoulder movement (like being able to shrug), though there is still full paralysis of the arms and legs. They are also able to speak.
As with the C1-C3 injury, complete care is usually still required. People affected will have paralysis of the arms, legs, and no finger movement. Other disabilities may include, but are not limited to: loss diaphragm function, trouble controlling bladder and bowel function, and limited range of motion.