Testing Your Comprehension

1. Jillian is thrown from a horse. She strikes the ground with her chin, causing severe hyperextension of the neck. Emergency medical technicians properly immobilize her neck and transport her to a hospital, but she dies 5 minutes after arrival. An autopsy shows multiple fractures of vertebrae C1, C6, and C7 and extensive damage to the spinal cord. Explain why she died rather than being left quadriplegic.

2. Wallace is the victim of a hunting accident. A bullet grazed his vertebral column and bone fragments severed the left half of his spinal cord at segments T8 through T10. Since the accident, Wallace has had a condition called dissociated sensory loss, in which he feels no sensations of deep touch or limb position on the left side of his body below the injury and no sensations of pain or heat from the right side. Explain what spinal tract(s) the injury has affected and why these sensory losses are on opposite sides of the body.

3. Anthony gets into a fight between rival gangs. As an attacker comes at him with a knife, he turns to flee, but stumbles. The attacker stabs him on the medial side of the right gluteal fold and Anthony collapses. He loses all use of his right limb, being unable to extend his hip, flex his knee, or move his foot. He never fully recovers these lost functions. Explain what nerve injury Anthony has most likely suffered.

4. Stand with your right shoulder, hip, and foot firmly against a wall. Raise your left foot from the floor without losing contact with the wall at any point. What happens? Why? What principle of this chapter does this demonstrate?

5. When a patient needs a tendon graft, surgeons sometimes use the tendon of the palmaris longus, a relatively dispensable muscle of the forearm. The median nerve lies nearby and looks very similar to this tendon. There have been cases where a surgeon mistakenly removed a section of this nerve instead of the tendon. What effects do you think such a mistake would have on the patient?

Answers at the Online Learning Center

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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