When one thinks of an injury of the spine, paralysis is automatically comes to mind. However, a spine injury does not always have paralysis as the outcome. A spinal injury involves damage to the soft tissue of the spine. Paralysis can occur if there is spinal cord damage, but having a spine injury can be considerably painful.
Experiencing a spinal injury is quite common and due to the tissue of the spine being injured it makes it hard to prove the cause of the injury. The reasoning behind that is that such injuries like a herniated disc can occur over natural progression of age. A CT Scan or an MRI can determine the cause of injury and its extent if it is done shortly after the injury or accident. Otherwise it will be hard to determine the cause or when the injury might have taken place.
Spinal injuries are most commonly caused by car accidents, violent attacks, and falls. The most dangerous sport related injury to the spine is diving. There are also work related spinal injuries. One of the most common occupations known for having a higher risk of injury is construction workers.
Spinal injuries are divided into four sections or regions. 1. The neck region (cervical) 2. The chest region (thoracic) 3. Below the ribs (lumbar) and 4. The lower back (sacral). The severity of the injury depends on the region, for instance the neck region is the most severe and generally the most painful. The higher the injury occurs, the more severe and painful it will be.
The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that is located along side of the spine. The role of the nerves is to send signals to the brain in order for the body and brain to work in conjunction. When there is damage to the cord it prohibits the impulses to be sent therefore the body is unable able to move or feel sensations. Spinal injuries are categorized in two parts either complete or incomplete. Quadriplegia is when there are no sensations or pulses being sent to the brain to move the arms legs and paraplegia is when there are no sensations or pulses being sent to the brain to move the legs but the arms are still moveable. These two types of spinal injury are categorized as “complete”. An incomplete spinal injury just might affect one leg or one arm or one side of the body.
As if the spinal injury was not enough there are other complications that can occur when being injured. The injury tends to effect the respiratory system, bowel and bladder control, fertility, muscle atrophy, spasticity, blood pressure irregularity, gall stones, and osteoporosis.
The back bone is made up of vertebrae which act as a protectant to the spinal cord. If the bones are the only thing that was effected than paralysis is most likely avoidable. Surgery or back support will help to heal the bones while holding the spine in place.
A dislocated vertebra is when the vertebrae are knocked out of place such as a car accident. The dislocation can cause spinal cord injury and can be treated generally with surgery or traction.
Discs are jelly like cushions that are located between the vertebrae and make the back able to move and be flexible. When the discs are “bumped” or dislocated it can cause back pain and impair movement. This type of injury can sometimes be difficult to treat.
Every year there are lawsuits taken out regarding spinal injuries. It is recommended to seek legal counsel if you feel that you have a spinal injury due to a car accident or a work related injury. Often times people who have had an accident and have paralysis have to be in a wheelchair the rest of their lives. This can have a lot of medical expenses to go with it. A special van, rehabilitation, special equipment to make living a little easier at home, medical visits, medical staff to assist, and loss of wages, to name a few.
A well experienced attorney will be able to help decipher who the responsibility party is and help get the compensation you deserve. These types of injuries can be life changing and require appropriate legal action.