Neurorehabilitation of spinal cord injuries following lightning and electrical trauma

NeuroRehabilitation. 2005;20(1):9-14.


While spinal cord injuries caused by lightning strike or electrical shock are rare, their clinical manifestations pose unique challenges to the clinician who must anticipate the interaction of multiple system involvement with the altered physiology of spinal cord injury. Spinal cord damage may be secondary to the direct effects of electrical current passing through neural tissue producing immediate or delayed impairment. Alternatively, lightning strike and electrical shock may lead to spinal cord damage due to the secondary consequences of injury such as spinal fractures sustained after a fall. In addition to effects on the spinal cord, electrical trauma may result in injury to the brain, peripheral nervous system, musculoskeletal system, skin, and cardiovascular system. This article will review the neurorehabilitation approach to this rare and challenging group of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lightning Injuries / complications*
  • Lightning Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / diagnosis
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / etiology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome