If you or your loved one has been in an accident and has suffered a spinal cord injury, you probably have many questions about what happens next. In many cases, patients who experience spinal cord injuries need to go through a period of rehabilitation for several months. Surgery may also be necessary depending on the severity and type of injury. Spinal cord injuries can be extremely disruptive. In severe cases, a person may lose their mobility and require around-the-clock care. Understanding some of the most common issues related to spinal cord injuries can help you as you move forward.
What are the Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can happen in many scenarios, from car accidents to acts of violence. Any serious trauma to a person’s neck or back can cause bruising to the spinal cord. In some cases, the bones in the spinal cord vertebrae fracture. In other cases, nerve damage and bruising result in paralysis or semi-paralysis.
Why are Spinal Cord Injuries So Serious?
Spinal cord injuries are serious because patients may not be able to recover mobility. Despite advances in medical science, as of right now, direct injury to the spinal cord cannot be cured. Stem cells in the spinal cord do not regenerate and heal as they do in other areas of the body. Once the sensitive cells of the spinal cord become bruised, they may not recover. Through rehabilitation, it can be possible for patients to recover some of their mobility, but they may not make a full recovery.
When Do Spinal Cord Injuries Cause Paralysis?
A person can become paralyzed when the brain cannot communicate with other parts of the body because of a spinal cord injury. Every case of paralysis is unique, and each patient may have a different set of symptoms. Generally, when paralysis occurs, the patient will be paralyzed from the location of the spinal cord injury downward. Paraplegia occurs when the spinal cord’s cervical area becomes damaged, usually resulting in paralysis of the torso and legs. Quadriplegia involves paralysis from the neck down, including the torso, arms, and legs.
How Do I Know if I Have Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury?
If you have been involved in an accident that caused spinal cord trauma, it is extremely important that you receive medical attention quickly. Some symptoms of spinal cord injuries may not appear immediately after an accident. You may not notice some symptoms until hours or even days later. The most critical time to receive treatment is immediately after the accident. A medical team should quickly evaluate anyone suspected of experiencing a spinal cord injury.
What are the Most Common Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?
If you have been in an accident, it is important that you know the common signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries. If you experience any of the following and have not received medical treatment already, you should immediately seek medical treatment:
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Severe back pain
- Pressure on the head, spine, neck, or back
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Loss of function or sensation in any part of the body, also called paralysis
- Difficulty balancing or walking while standing
- Aggressive muscle spasms
- Sexual dysfunction
- Stinging or other pain in the spinal cord
- Inability to clear secretions through the lungs or throat
What Changes Can a Victim Expect After a Spinal Cord Injury?
Living with a spinal cord injury can be challenging due to the difficult symptoms that can occur. Depending on the level of the injury, bowel or bladder control may become difficult or impossible. the patient may experience difficulty distinguishing pressure, cold, or heat. Respiratory system dysfunction, impaired circulatory control, and loss of muscle tone can also occur.
Discuss Your Case with an Alabama Personal Injury Attorney
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating types of personal injury accidents. If you or your loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury because of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at