Paralysis of Lower Part of Body. Paraplegia.
This form of palsy divides the body transversely, at the hips, and confines itself to the lower extremities, and to the parts about the pelvis.
Symptoms. When it arises from affections of the brain, it is at. tended by pain in the head, giddiness, drowsiness, dimness of sight, and impaired memory. Numbness is sometimes felt in the upper extremities as a forerunner of this form of palsy. At first there is a slight stiffness and awkwardness of the motion of the legs, which continue to increase till a cane is needed to balance the body and make it steady. From a paralysis of the neck of the bladder, the stream of urine grows more feeble, and finally dribbles away involuntarily. The bowels are for a time costive, but when the circular muscle which closes the fundament becomes palsied, the feces pass without consent of the will.
When disease of the spinal cord is the cause of the complaint, it is apt to come on gradually; languor and weakness are felt in the knees, the legs are not easily directed in walking, being thrown across each other, causing tripping and stumbling. By degrees the loss of power increases in the thighs and legs, until at length the whole lower extremities become palsied and useless.
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