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What should you know about spinal cord injuries?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Severe Injuries

People who are involved in a motor vehicle crash may suffer from serious injuries. For example, crash-related spinal cord injuries can potentially result in lifelong effects on a person’s ability to live the life they’re accustomed to.

Being diagnosed with a spinal cord injury can be frightening at first. Yet, victims and their loved ones might feel less stress if they understand what to expect.

Spinal shock is possible

Some spinal cord injuries seem much worse immediately after they occur. This is due, in part, to the body’s natural response to the damage, which is known as spinal shock. Part of the response is inflammation at the site of the injury. As this abates within the few days after the accident, the victim may notice that the effects of the injury also lessen.

Area of damage matters

The effects of spinal cord injuries are always noted below the level of the damage. This means that injuries lower on the spine may affect the legs but not the arms. Injuries in the neck can affect all four limbs and the trunk.

Injury classification is important

The amount of movement and sensation classifies all spinal cord injuries that the patient experiences below the level of damage. An incomplete injury has some movement and sensation in the affected area because nerves are still connected. A complete injury doesn’t have any sensation or movement below the injury because there are no longer nerves connected.

Typically, incomplete injuries are more likely to have some recovery of abilities than complete injuries. However, the severity of the damage, the speed of treatment and the types of treatment available can directly impact this.

People who suffer spinal cord injuries because of another party’s negligence may opt to pursue a compensation claim. This can help them cover medical care costs and other expenses directly attributed to the injury. State law sets strict time limits for these cases, so swift action is critical. Working with a legal representative who can get a case together may give a victim more time to focus on healing and getting stronger as their case progresses.