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3 things to know about a spinal cord injury

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2024 | Car Accidents

A car crash can lead to several injuries, some of which are catastrophic. A spinal cord injury falls under that category because the effects of it can last a lifetime.

For those who have a spinal cord injury, there are a few critical points. Understanding these may make it a bit easier for these victims to know what to expect.

1. Location matters

The location of a spinal cord injury is a critical factor in determining the extent of impairment and the potential for recovery. Injuries higher up on the spinal cord tend to result in more widespread paralysis.

For example, injuries to the cervical spine can lead to quadriplegia, affecting all four limbs,  but injuries to the thoracic or lumbar spine might result in paraplegia, affecting the lower parts of the body.

2. Spinal shock is scary

Spinal shock is a temporary reduction or loss of reflexes immediately following a spinal cord injury. It’s a phase that can last from several hours to several weeks, during which it’s challenging to diagnose the full extent of the injury accurately.

Symptoms of spinal shock include loss of muscle function, sensation and reflexes below the level of the injury. While spinal shock is frightening, it’s important to know that some functions may return once the shock phase resolves.

3. Type of injury impacts healing

Whether the injury is complete or incomplete significantly impacts the healing process and the potential for functional recovery. A complete injury means no sensory or motor function is preserved in the spinal segments below the level of injury.

An incomplete injury means some degree of sensory or motor function remains below the injury site. Individuals with incomplete injuries generally have a better prognosis for regaining some level of function, as there are still some pathways that remain intact between the brain and the affected areas of the body.

Victims of these injuries may have extensive medical care expenses. Seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit may help them to recover the financial damages.