The spinal cord consists of soft tissue that must be protected. The spinal column consists of hard bones that protect the spinal cord, which allows us to move and function normally. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can cause serious injury, even the loss of movement in the body. Vertebrae can become dislocated or broken due to injury, which results in traumatic effects of the spinal cord. Injuries can occur at any point of the spinal cord and result in the loss of all or some motor and sensory function.
Understanding Injury to the Spinal Cord
When physical trauma occurs in the neck or back area that causes a compression or crushing of the vertebrae, irreversible damage can take place on the spinal cord on a cervical level. Injuries high up on the spinal cord near the neck can cause paralysis throughout the body. This will include both the arms and legs. When all four limbs are affected, it is known as quadriplegia.
When the spinal cord is damaged in the middle of the back, it can cause paralysis, but only the lower half of the body is affected. This is known as paraplegia when only two limbs are affected.
In most cases, the spine will not be completely severed but a compression or fracture of the vertebrae occurs. The axons of the body are destroyed which will stop the nerve cell extensions from carrying signals through the spinal cord to the brain. Depending on the type of axon damage, an individual may be permanently paralyzed or have the ability to recover.
Paralysis and Fracture Injuries
A common result of spinal cord damage is paralysis. An example of this is paraplegia. This type of paralysis results in both lower limbs being paralyzed due to an injury to the spinal cord in the lower section of the back. A car accident or other form of trauma can cause this type of injury. Quadriplegia is another type of paralysis, this time when the upper portion of the spinal cord is damaged. With this type, the arms and legs will be paralyzed.
Paralysis is the most severe result of a spinal cord injury. For less severe injuries, an individual may see a fracture of the spinal vertebrae. A fracture can take place due to a fall at work, a gunshot wound, sports accident or car accident. Fractures can take place and cause a variety of symptoms including pain, tingling or numbness in the extremities, loss of bodily function control or high fever.
The effects of a fracture can include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, spasms, pain and bladder/bowel problems. With any spinal cord injury, medical assistance will be needed for an extended period of time or perhaps long-term. Care can be costly and the ability to work may become non-existent.
At Cueria Law Firm, we have handled many spinal cord injuries cases and are ready to fight for you. With spinal cord injuries, the road to recovery may be long and expensive. Depending on your injury, your life may be changed permanently and your need for assistance great. Let our team of New Orleans personal injury attorneys work for you, seeking just compensation for your injuries.