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Impact of Spinal Cord Injury

  • Viacheslav Iremashvili
  • Nancy L. BrackettEmail author
  • Charles M. Lynne
Chapter

Abstract

Although medical advances have greatly improved the prognosis for people who sustain spinal cord injury, it remains a major social and health-care problem. There are estimated 10,000–12,000 spinal cord injuries every year in the USA alone. More than a quarter of a million Americans are currently living with spinal cord injury, with many millions more worldwide. The cost of managing the care of patients with spinal cord injury is approximately $4 billion per year. The majority of spinal cord injury victims are young adults. Of them, more than 80% are men. As a result, young males constitute the largest part of this patient population. Reproductive function is essential for men with spinal cord injury, but unfortunately, less than 10% of them can father children without medical assistance. Infertility in male patients with spinal cord injury results from a combination of erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, and poor semen quality. As a result of advancements in assisted ejaculation techniques including electroejaculation and high-amplitude penile vibratory stimulation, semen can be safely obtained from nearly all men with spinal cord injury without resorting to surgical procedures; however, semen quality is poor in the majority of cases.

Keywords

Male infertility Spinal cord injury Semen abnormalities Scrotal hyperthermia Elevated reactive oxygen activity Assisted ejaculation techniques Penile vibratory stimulation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viacheslav Iremashvili
    • 1
  • Nancy L. Brackett
    • 2
    Email author
  • Charles M. Lynne
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.The Miami Project to Cure ParalysisUniversity of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Lois Pope Life CenterMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of UrologyUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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