Body Composition in Spinal Cord Injured–Paraplegic Men



Spinal cord injury-induced paraplegia causes an extreme and sudden immobilization of the lower limbs. The effects of spinal cord injury in paralyzed areas are well documented. Immobility leads to a changing pattern of loading in the paralyzed areas, which respond by alteration in structure. Subjects lose muscle mass and bone and gain fat mass, especially in the lower limbs. In addition, studies have shown that the demineralization and the deterioration of body composition are more severe in the sublesional regions of the subjects and in tetraplegics compared with paraplegics. Clinical studies also indicated that neurological injuries are associated with the development of a rapid and severe osteoporosis that is not only due to a compromised biomechanical function but also could have a central nervous system origin. In this chapter, factors influencing body composition in paraplegia and rehabilitation intervention are also discussed.


Spinal Cord Injure Functional Electrical Stimulation Spinal Cord Injure Patient Lean Mass Incomplete Spinal Cord Injure 



Bone mineral content


Bone mineral density


Body mass index


Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry


Fat mass


Fat free mass


Lean mass


Neurological level of injury


Spinal cord injury


Peripheral quantitative computed tomography


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rehabilitation DepartmentRhodes General HospitalRhodesGreece

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