Difference between Paralysis, paresthesia, plegic?

  1. Can someone please help me understand this? What is the difference between having hemiparalysis, hemiparaplegia, hemiparesis, hemiparesthesia? I keep getting them mixed up and its frustrating me!
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    About luv2shopp85

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 609; Likes: 14

    6 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    First of all, "hemi-" is a prefix that means half. So, in all cases the words are dealing with half of something. A paresthesia is a patient's experience of numbness or tingling. It is a subjective symptom often described as feeling like pins and needles or the sensation you get when your arm or leg "falls asleep". There are also degrees to all these conditions depending on the amount and extent of damage done to the nerves responsible for the condition.

    hemiparalysis - paralysis is the loss of muscle function and/or the loss of sensation. This term would indicate paralysis in either the left or right side of the body. I have not seen this term used, however. Normally, the terminology I've seen used for this condition is either unilateral paralysis or hemiplegia,

    hemiparaplegia - this is another term I've never seen used. Paraplegia is specifically loss of muscle function and loss of sensation in the lower limbs and trunk. I would imagine, however, that hemiparaplegia would be this paraplegia in either the left or right leg and right or left side of the trunk. I saw this years ago in a victim of a stabbing when the knife only partially severed the spinal cord leaving the person with paralysis of one leg and one side of the pelvis.

    hemiparesis - muscular weakness in one-half of the body, either the left side or the right side.

    hemiparesthesia - numbness or tingling that occurs on only one side of the body, either the left side or the right side.

    Hope that is helpful for you.
  4. by   luv2shopp85
    When I said hemiparaplegia I meant hemiplegia. So are hemiplegia, and hemiparalysis used interchangably? Because they mean the same thing technically don't they?
    Last edit by luv2shopp85 on Oct 8, '06
  5. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from luv2shopp85
    When I said hemiparaplegia I meant hemiplegia. So are hemiplegia, and hemiparalysis used interchanbably? Because they mean the same thing technically don't they?
    I think of hemiplegia as being paralyzed on the right or left side of the body, while paraplegia would be only the legs. Quadraplegia would be paralysis of all four extremities.

    I've never heard the term hemiparaplegia.

    These links seemed very helpful in describing these conditions:

    http://www.apparelyzed.com/quadriplegia.html

    http://www.answers.com/main/ntq-tnam...egia-fts_start-
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Oct 8, '06
  6. by   leslie :-D
    plegia = paralysis
    paresthesia = abnormal sensations

    leslie
  7. by   Daytonite
    Quote from luv2shopp85
    When I said hemiparaplegia I meant hemiplegia. So are hemiplegia, and hemiparalysis used interchangably? Because they mean the same thing technically don't they?
    Yes. When I was writing up my post I actually did use both words. Then, before I actually hit the "Submit Reply" button I decided to take the terms out because it sounded confusing to me. I think you got the gist of it though.
  8. by   Jules A
    Quote from Daytonite
    I would imagine, however, that hemiparaplegia would be this paraplegia in either the left or right leg and right or left side of the trunk. I saw this years ago in a victim of a stabbing when the knife only partially severed the spinal cord leaving the person with paralysis of one leg and one side of the pelvis.
    That is amazing. Did you get to see his rehab process? I'm curious if he was able to retain function in the working leg.

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