How Does a Spinal Cord Injury Affect Your Life?

notes on spinal cord injuryApproximately 12,500 people suffer a spinal cord injury every year in the U.S., according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. There are many different types of spinal cord injuries and they can have catastrophic consequences.

These injuries are commonly caused by another party’s negligence. When this happens, victims may be entitled to compensation for the damages they have suffered. The Savannah spinal cord injury lawyers at Roden Law are well acquainted with the medical, financial and psychological struggles that spinal cord injury victims face. We may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Complete and Incomplete Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are usually divided into two major groups: complete and incomplete injuries. The symptoms and overall effect that a spinal injury may have on your life is largely dictated by which type of injury you have.

Complete Spinal Cord Injury

Individuals who suffer complete spinal cord injuries experience a total loss of sensory and motor function below the area of injury.  Common forms of complete spinal cord injuries include:

  • Paraplegia – Paraplegia is indicated by the lack of sensation and movement of the lower half of your body. These injuries are usually caused by damage to the thoracic spinal cord. These injuries increase in severity as they get closer to the top vertebra. 
  • Tetraplegia – Tetraplegia causes varying degrees of paralysis to all of your limbs. This condition impacts your ability to move below the part of the body that is affected. It is usually caused by damage to the cervical spinal cord. These injuries are often the most severe. In addition to the loss of movement, these injuries may also cause problems controlling bladder and bowels, breathing and other routine functions. People with these injuries often need extensive assistance from caregivers and their loved ones to complete basic life activities.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

Incomplete spinal cord injuries involve the partial severing of the spinal cord. This allows the victim to retain some function and the spinal cord can still send and receive some messages to the brain. Some sensation and movement below the area of the injury may also be possible. How much function a person retains depends on the extent of their injuries.

Some common incomplete spinal cord injuries include:

  • Anterior cord syndrome – This type of injury involves damage to motor and sensory pathways in the spinal cord. People with this type of injury may struggle to move the affected area.
  • Central cord syndrome – This injury type involves damage to the nerves that carry messages to and from the spinal cord and brain. These injuries are often associated with paralysis of the arms, partial impairment and the loss of fine motor skills. Additionally, victims may suffer from a loss of control of the bladder or bowels or may be unable to function sexually.
  • Brown-Sequard syndrome – This condition is characterized by damage to one side of the spinal cord. Movement may be difficult or impossible on the affected side of the body.

Whether a victim suffers a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury, the effects can be devastating on a physical, mental and financial level.

Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

The symptoms that you may experience from a spinal cord injury will be different depending on the area injured and the extent of your injuries. Some common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Paralysis to one or more parts of the body
  • Chronic pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Bedsores
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Headaches
  • Loss of libido, sexual function or fertility
  • Problems controlling bladder or bowels
  • Change in personality or mood

If you suspect that you have suffered a spinal cord injury, seek medical assistance immediately.

Contact a Lawyer

Spinal cord injuries can be one of the most difficult injuries that a person can sustain in an accident. Victims often face years of treatment and therapy to retain a minimal amount of function. It is not uncommon for victims who have sustained a spinal cord injury to have to use a breathing machine or feeding tubes.

The licensed Savannah personal injury lawyers at Roden Law can help you recover the compensation that you need to treat a potentially lifelong injury. We approach each case with compassion and understanding while fighting for the recovery that you deserve.