5 things to know about spinal cord injuries

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Uncategorized |

Spinal cord injuries are often the result of traumatic events, such as car crashes or serious falls. For the victims of this type of event, realizing they may have a spinal cord injury is a frightening experience.

There are several things that anyone who’s been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury should know. Individuals who have a loved one with this type of injury may also be urged to explore the following kinds of information to serve as support in more informed ways.

Immediate care is critical

It’s vital to immobilize the spine as quickly as possible to prevent further injury and get immediate medical attention. The sooner a person receives treatment, the better the chances of minimizing long-term effects.

Spinal shock is possible

Spinal shock is a condition that can occur after a spinal cord injury. This is a temporary reduction in function that occurs immediately after the injury. It typically results in a loss of all reflexes below the level of the damage. Immediate medical management of the effects can significantly affect the outcome.

Complete versus incomplete injuries are distinct

All spinal cord injuries are classified as complete or incomplete based on the function remaining in affected areas of the body. A complete injury means there is no function below the level of the injury. An incomplete injury means some function remains. Some movement or sensation might remain below the injury level. Typically, incomplete injuries are associated with a more complete return to function.

Location matters

The location of the injury on the spinal cord matters significantly. Generally, injuries higher up on the spinal cord result in more extensive impacts. For instance, an injury to the neck area can lead to quadriplegia, which is a paralysis of all four limbs. Lower injuries might affect the legs, which is known as paraplegia.

Long-term effects are possible

Long-term effects can range from physical challenges, such as mobility issues or chronic pain, to emotional and psychological impacts. Adapting to life after a spinal cord injury can be a complex process involving significant changes to one’s lifestyle and surroundings.

Anyone who has a spinal cord injury is likely in for a long road to recovery. Ensuring that a victim understands their rights regarding compensation is critical if the injury resulted from another party’s negligence. Victims have specific Georgia time limits for filing a case, so they shouldn’t waste time before seeking legal guidance.