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February 21, 1959


Author Affiliations

Oklahoma City

Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine, University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1959;169(8):817-824. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000250035010

The extent of recovery and rehabilitation after quadriplegia has been studied in 12 patients, 8 of them victims of accidents with motor vehicles. Three detailed case histories illustrate the difficulties encountered and the extent of self-care, educational attainments, and vocational prospects found in these patients. Although adolescence is a pivotal experience it is possible to give young people a reliable new scale of values and a serenity of spirit. The level at which the spinal cord was injured is all-important in deciding the prognosis. The second consideration is early expeditious comprehensive therapy. The third consideration, age, favors the adolescent in that he is more cooperative than young children and less hampered by ingrained traits than the aged. He must cooperate in giving attention to his skin and urinary and neuromuscular systems, and, above all, he must learn to rely as much as possible on his own capabilities.