What You Should Know About Spinal Cord Injury
Defining Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury is a common catastrophic injury that can occur from a variety of different accidents. The spinal cord is an important component of the human body because it’s a bundle of nerves that carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Acute spinal cord injury is caused by a traumatic injury that creates a contusion, a partial tear, or a transaction. An injury usually causes a break or disruption in the spinal vertebrae or the attached ligaments. The spinal column is the part of the body that protects the spinal cord and exiting nerve roots. There are some injuries that only affect the spinal column without damaging the nerve elements. Other injuries result into permanent damage of the spinal cord and exiting nerve roots.
There are about 250,000 people currently suffering with spinal cord injuries in the United States. Unfortunately, 12,000 new spinal cord injury cases occur each year. The cervical and thoracic spine are the most subject to injury. Those who suffer with spinal cord injuries are subject to a limited or absence of movement, sensation, and body organ function. Spinal cord injury is a common cause for permanent disability and death for both children and adults. However, spinal cord injuries are more common in males than females. 75% of people suffering from spinal cord injuries in the United States are males.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
The leading cause of spinal cord injury is motor vehicle accidents. Other causes include slip-and-fall accidents, sports accidents, trampoline accidents, birth injuries, and violence. All of these accidents could potentially occur from another person’s negligence, which means the injured victim is entitled to receive compensation for medical treatment.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injury
Treatment for spinal cord injury is either done by a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon. There are two types of major spinal cord injuries: incomplete and complete spinal cord injury. Incomplete spinal cord injury means there is still some function below the level of injury. Complete spinal cord injury means that there is no function below the level of the injury. Incomplete and complete injury includes the ability or inability to feel movement and sensation.
Patients who have incomplete spinal cord injury can usually expect some amount of recovery. Patients who have complete spinal cord injury have extremely low recovery rates. Treatments usually include stabilizing the spine, which can be done by a collar, halo-vest, or body brace. Most of the time surgery is involved with spinal cord injuries. Surgery is used to install titanium plates, rods, screws, and bone graft material in order to put the spine back together. Post-surgery treatment requires intense therapy to strengthen muscles, maximize their functional capabilities, and create strategies for bowel and bladder movement.
At Los Angeles Injury Group, we know how life-altering spinal cord injuries can be for our clients and their families, which is why we commit to our clients’ cases until they receive fair compensation for their injuries. If you, or someone you know, received spinal cord injuries in an accident, call 310-954-7248 for a free consultation.