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Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal

Spinal cord injuries can have devastating physical and mental effects. These types of injuries often require extensive treatment which could last for months or even several years. The following article will prove an in-depth analysis of spinal cord injuries.

What are some types of spinal cord injuries?

The severity of a spinal cord injury is classified as either “complete” or “incomplete.”

  • “Complete”: A spinal cord injury is classified as “complete” in situations where a person loses all feeling (sensory) and all ability to control movement (motor function) below the spinal cord injury.
  • “Incomplete”: A spinal cord injury is classified as “incomplete” in situations where a person still has some motor or sensory function below the affected area.

Additionally, there are two types of paralysis that can result from a spinal cord injury, which includes:

  • Tetraplegia (aka “quadriplegia”): This type of paralysis affects your arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
  • Paraplegia: This type of paralysis affects all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.

What are some common causes of spinal cord injuries?

Though there are many things that can cause spinal cord injuries, the most common injuries occur when the area of the spine or neck is either bent or compressed. As such, the most common causes include:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Diving accidents
  • Trampoline accidents
  • Violence (such as gunshots or stab wounds)
  • Infections that form an abscess on the spinal cord
  • Birth injuries (which typically affect the spinal cord in the neck area)

What are some potential symptoms of spinal cord injuries?

There is a wide range of symptoms that indicate a spinal cord injury, but the most common symptoms typically include the following:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss or altered sensation (including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch)
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
  • Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity, and fertility
  • Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from your lungs

In addition to these common symptoms, there are also more severe symptoms which indicate that you should seek medical attention immediately, which include the following:

  • Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head, or back
  • Weakness, incoordination, or paralysis in any part of your body
  • Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet, or toes
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty with balance and walking
  • Impaired breathing after injury
  • An oddly positioned or twisted neck or back

Have You Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury in the Workplace? Contact Our Firm

If you recently suffered a spinal cord injury while on the job, Connolly Injury Law can help. Our Chicago personal injury attorney is ready to assist you with any questions you may have regarding filing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.

Resource:

hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/acute-spinal-cord-injury

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