Common Spinal Cord Injuries and Their Treatments

Posted By Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci || 27-Apr-2016

A spinal cord injury is a type of serious injury that causes damage to the collection of nerves in a person’s spine, causing varying levels of paralysis. It is estimated that approximately 12,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries each year, equating to about 30 injuries per day. Injuries of this type often occur as a result of trauma from auto collisions, slip and falls, gunshots, sports-related accidents, and birth injuries, though certain diseases such as spina bifida can cause similar debilitation. Our firm has compiled a list of some of the most frequently occurring types of spinal cord injuries and their corresponding treatments.

Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

Complete spinal cord injuries involve substantial damage to the spine, resulting in complete loss of function below the spot of the injury. Complete spinal cord injuries can cause the following:

  • Paraplegia: a loss of motor and sensory function in a person’s lower extremities
  • Quadriplegia: sensory and motor paralysis of all four limbs and torso

In many cases, complete spinal cord injury results in permanent debilitation and can only be recovered from in rare circumstances with extensive physical therapy and possible reconstructive surgery. The most important factor for people with complete spinal cord injuries to attempt to regain as much independence as possible. With physical rehabilitation, mobility can sometimes be restored through wheelchair use, though it is often impossible to regain a level of function that existed before the injury.

Partial Spinal Cord Injuries

More commonly occurring than complete spinal cord injuries, incomplete or partial spinal cord injuries are characterized by a limited function or feeling in the areas of the body below the injury. The extent of an incomplete spinal cord injury often cannot be determined until weeks after the injury occurred, as some function may return once the spine’s inflammation has subsided.

These types of injuries are classified into several subclasses, including:

  • Anterior Cord Syndrome: This type of injury involves damage to the front of the spinal cord. Anterior cord syndrome frequently brings loss of temperature, pain, and touch feeling to all areas below the point of injury.
  • Posterior Cord Syndrome: Damage to the back of the spinal cord is known as posterior cord syndrome. While this type of injury often results in good muscle power, temperature sensation, and the ability to feel pain, coordination is often harmed.
  • Central Cord Syndrome: Injury to the middle of the spine, known as central cord syndrome, can cause a person to lose arm function but retain some leg function. Partial recovery is possible with medication, physical therapy, and possible surgery.
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome: Damage to either side of the spine is classified as Brown-Sequard Syndrome. This frequently causes a person to lose movement on one side but retain sensation, while losing sensation and retaining movement on the other side of the body.
  • Cauda Equina Lesion: Injury to the groupings of nerve endings between the first and second lumbar region can cause partially or completely impaired sensation, known as a Cauda Equina Lesion. In rare instances, these nerves can regenerate over time and restore function.

Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury? Call (417) 206-0100

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your suffering. At Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci, our personal injury attorneys have helped countless clients throughout Joplin, Springfield, and Rogers/Bentonville recover fair settlements for their suffering and can ensure your rights are protected in a court of law.

Get in touch with our office online or schedule a free case evaluation today to get started.