A spinal injury refers to any injury to the spine that is caused by trauma instead of a disease. Symptoms can vary widely, from pain to paralysis.
Causes of Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries have many causes, but are typically associated with major injuries from motor vehicle accidents, falls, sport injuries, and violence. Spinal injuries can also be involved with minor injuries such as whiplash.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
A complete spinal cord injury is one that results in a complete loss of motor and sensory function below the location of the spinal injury. The result is paralysis:
- Quadriplegia (tetraplegia) - involves loss of movement and sensation in all four limbs (arms and legs). Quadriplegia also affects the chest muscles and may require the use of a mechanical breathing machine.
- Paraplegia involves loss of movement and sensation in the lower half of the body (right and left legs).
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
An incomplete spinal cord injury results in some function below the spinal injury. Unlike a complete spinal cord injury, and incomplete spinal cord injury may affect one side of the body more than the other. An example would be one arm having more movement than the other. Incomplete spinal cord injuries are often classified as one of three syndromes:
- Anterior Cord Syndrome: this results from compression of the anterior spinal artery (this is the artery that runs along the front of the spinal cord). Some types of sensation are possible by the intact pathways in the posterior part of the spinal cord, but movement and more detailed sensation are lost.
- Central Cord Syndrom: results from trauma to the large nerve fibers that carry information directly from the cerebral cortex to the spinal cord. Symptoms may include but are not limited to paralysis and/or loss of fine control of movements in the arms and hands. Sensory loss below the spinal cord lesion and loss of bladder control are also possible.
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome: results from a neck or back injury on one side of the spinal cord. A puncture wound such a stab from a knife or crashing through a windshield during a car accident, can be the cause. Movement and some types of sensation are lost below the level of injury on the injured side. Pain and temperature sensation are lost on the side of the body opposite the injury.
Spinal Injury Compensation
Compensation for spinal injuries should include amounts for medical expenses, cost of care, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, loss of quality of life, and other damages. If you would like a free consultation with one of our attorneys call 1-800-589-3023, e-mail Miraldi & Barrett, or submit our on-line consultation form.
Free Consultation with Spinal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has had a spinal injury, contact us for a free consultation: 1-800-589-3023 (toll free) or submit our on-line consultation form.