3 things to know about spinal cord injuries

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Experienced Massachusetts And New Hampshire Attorneys

The spinal cord transports nerve signals throughout your body. The band of tissues runs along the spine and is very fragile. Certain events, such as motor vehicle crashes, can damage the spinal cord.

A damaged spinal cord may not be able to send nerve signals effectively throughout the body. This can lead to paralysis in the affected areas. Paralysis can be complete or partial, depending on whether the person has feeling or any ability to move.

Location of the injury determines the area affected

The area of the body that’s affected by the spinal cord injury is always below the spot that’s damaged. This means that an injury to the neck, or cervical, area will always have a larger impact than an injury to the lower back, or lumbar, area.

Spinal cord injuries are complete or incomplete

All spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete. A complete injury is one that doesn’t have any nerves still connected. An incomplete injury still has some nerves connected. The incomplete injuries are usually associated with better recovery than complete ones.

Effects may seem worst immediately after the injury

Immediately after the injury occurs, effects can be more severe because of spinal shock. This is a phenomenon that occurs when the spinal cord becomes inflamed, which can result in a loss of muscle tone and reduced ability to move the affected area. It can take days to weeks for spinal shock to abate. During that time, the victim needs close monitoring because of an increased blood pressure and other symptoms.

Treatment for a spinal cord injury can be costly and could last for the rest of a victim’s life. If an injury occurred as a result of another party’s negligence, a victim may choose to seek compensation; a claim for which must be filed within the timeframe set by state law. Because of this, working with a legal representative who can assist with getting a case together efficiently and effectively can be beneficial for victims.