Spinal cord injuries are some of the most dangerous types of damages the human body can withstand. The spinal cord is a delicate bundle of nerves and tissues the vertebrae protect. The spine sends messages from the brain to the body, enabling you to walk, talk, eat, move, and feel. When the spinal cord suffers an injury, it is usually due to bone, ligament or other body tissue tearing into the spinal tissue and can result in extremely serious physical and mental repercussions for the individual. These injuries impact nearly every aspect of daily life.
Spinal Cord Injuries, Mobility, and Sensation
Spinal cord injuries are often connected with paralysis due to the damage nerve cells suffer. The bundle of nerves within the spinal cord is responsible for controlling movement in the body. When a traumatic accident such as a car crash, slip and fall, or birth injury results in damage to the spinal cord, nerve cells can no longer carry messages back and forth between the brain and the body. This results in partial or complete loss of movement and feeling in the body.
The level of paralysis a spinal cord injury victim experiences depends on the type of injury. Four major regions comprise the spinal cord, each in charge of a different part of the body. The region in which the injury occurs will decide the level and area of loss of feeling and mobility.
The four main regions that are susceptible to spinal cord injuries are:
1. Cervical spinal cord.
The topmost part of the spine, where the brain connects to the spinal cord. Damages here are typically the most severe, resulting in paralysis in all limbs. This is known as quadriplegia or tetraplegia, and does not allow the victim to move below the site of injury.
2. Thoracic spinal cord.
The middle of the spine, containing twelve vertebrae. These injuries can result in paraplegia, where the lower half of the body does not have sensation or movement.
3. Lumbar spinal cord.
The lower region of the spinal cord, where there are five vertebrae that start to bend.
4. Sacral spine.
This region is triangle-shaped and is located on the lower spine. This is where the spine bends slightly outward.
Damages to the lower region of the spine typically do not produce paralysis, but they can result in nerve damage, reduced function, and long-lasting pain. Knowing the location of your spinal cord injury will help you determine your prognosis and which parts of the body are affected. Spinal cord injuries can be complete or partial depending on the severity of the injury. Partial, or incomplete, spinal cord injuries allow the victim to retain some function.
Living with a Spinal Cord Injury
Unfortunately, the damages a spinal cord injury cause are generally irreversible. When someone becomes paralyzed from a spinal cord injury, they face a lifetime of disability. Spinal cord injury victims often have to pay for multiple surgeries, expensive medical equipment, physical rehabilitation, psychological therapy, in-home care, and house and/or vehicle modifications.
When you suffer a spinal cord injury, your body can experience paralysis of the arms, legs, chest, and lower body. A spinal cord injury may also affect respiratory function and breathing, as well as the bowel and bladder. Every spinal cord injury is different and comes with a different prognosis. An injured person will have varying degrees of movement and control. Most recover from a spinal cord injury occurs within the first six months after the accident.
After a spinal cord injury, people can recover to lead full & productive lives. With the help of rehabilitation, a spinal cord injury victim can strive to adjust to life physically and mentally. However, many spinal cord injury victims live more or less independently, with medical equipment that allows them to live relatively normal lives. Unfortunately a lot of these treatments can cost a lot of money for the individual and/or family.
Contact a Seasoned Spinal Cord Injury Attorney for Your Case
Financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can provide significant help to spinal cord injury victims. So if your spine accident was the results of someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to speak with a personal injury lawyer like Estey & Bomberger, LLP in San Bernardino about your case. They can help you acquire some much-needed financial support.