Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

January 29, 2021

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are roughly 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. every year. Since 2010, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal injuries (38%). Spinal cord Injuries suffered in car accidents are very serious, and unfortunately far too common.

If you have been involved in an accident, be aware of the symptoms, including delayed symptoms, that signal a spinal cord injury after the accident. Seek immediate medical attention and make sure your claim is being handled by the experienced Bethlehem back injury lawyers at Drake, Hileman & Davis. We have the experience and deep understanding of spinal cord injuries and will help you recover all of the compensation you deserve. In fact, if you have been involved in any type of accident resulting in serious injury, or even death, let the Bethlehem back injury lawyers help.

According to the Shepherd Center, there are definable types and levels of spinal cord injuries. 

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be divided into two types of injuries: complete spinal cord injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries. A complete spinal cord injury causes permanent damage to the area of the spinal cord that is affected. Paraplegia and tetraplegia are common results of complete spinal cord injuries.

An incomplete spinal cord injury causes partial damage to the spinal cord. The ability to move and the level of feeling depends on the area of the spine that has been injured and the severity of the injury. Outcomes vary according to the patient’s health and medical history.

Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are four sections of the spinal cord: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. Each section of the spine protects different groups of nerves that control the body. The severity of spinal cord injuries can depend on the section of the spine that is injured.

  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries. These injuries affect the head and neck areas above the shoulders. It is the most severe level of spinal cord injury.
  • Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries. These injuries affect the upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscles. Arm and hand function is usually normal with this level of spinal cord injury.
  • Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries. These injuries affect the hips and legs. Individuals may need a wheelchair or walk with braces.
  • Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries. These injuries affect the hips, back of the thighs, buttocks, and pelvic organs. Individuals are most likely able to walk with this level of spinal cord injury.

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

The abrupt deceleration in a vehicle accident can cause injuries to your back and neck. If the force is strong enough to damage one of your vertebrae, you may be experiencing some of the following spinal cord injury symptoms:

  • Painful stinging or pinching sensations in the back, indicative of a pinched nerve
  • Muscle weakness or loss of motion, including unexplained muscle spasms
  • Loss or weakened sensation of temperature or touch
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Digestive problems

If you are experiencing serious back pain or any of the symptoms mentioned above, either immediately or even after several days or weeks, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Contact Our Bethlehem Back Injury Lawyers for More Information

Spinal cord injuries are serious business. Do not delay in seeking medical treatment, and let the Bethlehem back injury lawyers at Drake, Hileman & Davis help. They will help you through the difficult times and manage your claim so that you can concentrate on getting better.

Contact us for further information and to schedule your free consultation.