Of all the body parts, the spinal cord is one of the most sensitive to injury. Spinal cord injuries are also particularly serious because it cannot restore itself if damaged. Most spinal cord injuries are a result of physical trauma, compression from infection and/or tumors or loss of normal blood supply to the spinal cord.
Each year, approximately 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury occur in the U.S. These injuries are more common in patients under 30 years of age and 65 percent occur in white males.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Experts categorize spinal cord injuries as complete and incomplete injuries. A complete spinal cord injury involves a total loss of muscle function and sensation in the body below the injury level. An incomplete spinal cord injury involves at least a moderate level of functionality below the injury level. Both sides of the body are equally affected in most cases.
In some instances of spinal cord injury, quadriplegia appears in the form of paralysis of both legs and both arms. Quadriplegia is especially common when the upper portion of the spinal cord in the neck becomes injured. Paraplegia describes a form of paralysis of both legs only, when the lower portion of the spinal cord becomes injured.
Trauma and Treatment
After a spinal cord injury, emergency medical experts may place the spinal cord patient on a backboard or in a cervical collar to help avoid spine movement. A patient suffering from a spinal cord injury should be handled with great care or else further movement of the spine could lead to more damage.
Personalized therapeutic strategies allow even people with serious spinal cord injuries to intermingle in society and stay productive.
Trauma is the most common cause for the majority of spinal cord injuries. Early treatment and control are the most significant factors in attaining recovery. However, treatment can be extremely expensive.
Legal Assistance for Spinal Cord Injuries
Individuals facing spinal cord injuries and recovery costs do have legal recourse. With the help of a skilled attorney, personal injury claims for spinal cord injuries can help victims obtain damages and legal compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income and even mental or psychological pain and suffering.
State law is especially relevant when the spinal cord injury is a result of the negligence or recklessness of another. Attorneys work with clients to assess the person or entity responsible for the injury, whether the injury is a result of an accident or another type of incident or mishap.