Approximately 12,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with spinal cord injuries every year. Spinal cord injuries are no laughing matter. They can cause mobility issues and paralysis. Most spinal cord injuries are long-lasting and even permanent. A person with such an injury may never be able to walk again. On top of that, medical treatment costs are astronomical.
There are two main types of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete. A complete injury means that the spinal cord has been fully severed, resulting in no function at all. An incomplete injury, on the other hand, means that the cord is partially severed, and that there is some function left. A person may still be able to move to some degree.
Types of Incomplete Spinal Injuries
More than 60 percent of spinal injuries are incomplete. One of the most common ones is anterior cord syndrome, which is damage to the front of the spinal cord. The motor and sensory pathways are affected, which means you might have mobility issue, but be able to feel sensations.
Brown-Sequard syndrome occurs when one side of the spinal cord is damaged. This means that a victim may have sensations and movement on one side of the body, but not the other.
With central cord syndrome, the center of the spinal cord may suffer an injury, which may make it difficult to carry signals from the brain to the spinal cord. Common effects are paralysis in the arms and legs, loss of bowel or bladder control, and loss of fine motor skills.
Types of Complete Spinal Injuries
The most serious spinal injury is quadriplegia, which means that all four limbs (legs and arms) are affected. Each limb will have some degree of paralysis and you may also experience difficulties with breathing and bladder and bowel control. Paraplegia occurs when the lower half of the body is paralyzed.
When the injury occurs below the lumbar spinal cord, most victims do not experience paralysis or loss of sensation. Nerve pain and reduced function in some areas of the body are more common. Surgery may be needed to regain function.
Causes of Spinal Injuries
Most spinal injuries—more than 35 percent—are caused by car accidents. Falls—especially those in seniors over the age of 65—account for more than 25 percent of spinal injuries. Gun shots, knife wounds and other acts of violence were the third most common cause of spinal injuries, at 15 percent. Sports activities cause 9 percent of injuries. Most of these are caused by diving in shallow water.
Most of those with spinal cord injuries are male (82 percent). Most injuries occur at age 19, but the average age is 33.
Get Legal Help for Your Personal Injury Case
A spinal injury can have serious consequences. Many people have mobility issues and are even unable to walk. If your spinal injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, take legal action.
The Miami personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP can help hold the person accountable for your injuries. Spinal injuries can last a lifetime and cost millions of dollars. Receive the compensation you deserve. Request a free consultation by calling our law offices today at (786) 661-1359.