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
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 and Springfield recover
fair settlements for their suffering and can ensure your rights are protected
in a court of law.