Definition of tetraplegia in US English:



  • another term for quadriplegia
    • ‘Less commonly, cerebral palsy takes the form of a hypotonic tetraplegia, with no spasticity, when the child has a mobility problem but with floppy muscles.’
    • ‘All too often, quadriplegia (or tetraplegia as it is now referred to) is innocently confused with paraplegia, a condition where only the lower limbs are affected.’
    • ‘It has been more than 100 years since Osler described the development of tetraplegia in a patient with sepsis, yet research on the neuromuscular sequelae of critical illness remains in the early stages.’
    • ‘Pioneering surgery involving transfers of multiple tendons together with the implantation of up to eight electrodes in the muscles of the forearm and hand has improved the quality of life of many patients with tetraplegia.’
    • ‘Individuals with tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs) may benefit from identifying pinch force requirements to accomplish daily-living tasks.’
    • ‘Repetitive, strenuous, isometric contractions of the pectoralis major muscle over 6 weeks produced about a 50% increase in strength and expiratory reserve volume, and a 14% decrease in residual volume in six patients with tetraplegia.’
    • ‘Five subjects with paraplegia and 4 with tetraplegia participated in the clinical treatment protocol.’


Early 20th century: from tetra- ‘four’ + paraplegia.