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Understanding Spinal Injuries

spinal injury

The spine is an amazing part of the human body, allowing us to stand upright and move. Under normal circumstances, the spine is well-equipped to function as intended. But an injury to the spine, whether caused by a car accident, medical negligence, or some other type of accident, can change one’s life instantly.

Let’s take a look at some different types of spinal injuries.

Spinal Fractures

The “building blocks” of the spine are called vertebrae. These bones stack together and connect to give the upper body a wide range of motion and provide postural support. The vertebrae also surround and protect the spinal cord. Under high-energy impacts, however, the vertebrae can fracture, and the degree to which the bone fractures will determine the severity of injury. Pain, stiffness, swelling, and muscle spasms are typical symptoms.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain to the upper region of the lower back, where it then becomes a bundle of nerves that branch into the lower body. Along with the brain, the spinal cord and its associated nerves send impulses throughout the body, which control body movement and sensation.

Injuries to the spinal cord occur in two general categories:

  • Complete spinal cord injuries cause complete loss of motor and sensory function below the primary location of injury.
  • Incomplete spinal cord injuries cause partial loss of motor and sensory function below the primary location of injury.

The more severe the injury, the less likely full recovery will occur. Additionally, the higher an injury occurs in the spinal cord, the more loss of function will affect the body. For example, a spinal cord injury in the neck could lead to quadriplegia, while an injury to the thoracic region of the spinal cord would affect the function of the lower limbs.  

What Does Recovery Look Like?

Spinal cord injuries, regardless of type, usually require extensive, time-consuming rehabilitation. One or more surgeries may also be required. The recovery can take months or years and even then, those with severe injuries may never regain full sensory and motor function in certain areas of the body.

Sustaining an injury to the spine can be a devastating experience. When the injury is caused by an accident, the injured party could seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and more from the liable party. Hiring a lawyer with experience handling spinal injury cases can help a spinal injury victim get the appropriate compensation for their injuries.

If you’ve sustained a spinal injury caused by an accident, contact the Goldstein Law Firm to schedule a consultation and discuss how we can help you.

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