Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury refers to an injury, generally caused by trauma, that results in a loss of spinal cord function. That loss of function isn’t always severe and lasting. A spinal cord bruise, for instance, is painful but will typically heal in a relatively short period of time and not result in permanent damage. However, many spinal cord injuries do result in a loss of feeling in a part of your body, or even the loss of the ability to move part of your body. Paralysis, this kind of loss of movement, while directly related to spinal cord injury, does not necessarily involve a break in the spinal cord. Most injuries that result in some level of paralysis do not actually involve a break in the spinal cord.
More than 17,000 Americans incur a spinal cord injury each year. The vast majority of these injuries are the result of traffic accidents, falls, gunshot wounds, and sports-related injuries, with traffic accidents being the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Traffic accidents are the cause of approximately 40 percent of SCIs every year.
What is Traumatic SCI?
The spinal cord connects the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord is one long nerve that essentially serves as the pipeline for the brain to send nerve signals to the rest of the body. If the ability of the spinal cord to send those messages is impaired, the brain could be telling body parts what to do, using the spinal cord as a kind of telephone line, but somewhere, the line is down. By the same token, if spinal cord function is impaired, body parts can’t communicate to the brain. The brain has no idea whether the body part is damaged, in pain, or otherwise not functioning properly. That break in communication is what leads to paralysis.
Spinal cord injuries can range from a bruise – which is painful but will heal – all the way up to a complete break in the spinal cord, which is called a transaction. This kind of spinal cord injury can result in partial or total paralysis below the level of the injury. Whether a spinal cord injury is complete or partial matters, as well. A complete spinal cord injury will leave you with no function at all below the level of the injury to the spine, while incomplete spinal injuries could result in you having some function remaining below the spinal injury. Complete spinal injuries always result in paralysis.
If You Have Suffered A Spinal Cord Injury in an Accident, You Should Contact a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
Spinal cord injuries can be serious, resulting in paralysis and other conditions that can require expensive, lifelong care. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident, you should talk to a Miami personal injury attorney to discuss your options are for recovering damages. Contact Flagler Personal Injury Group at (305) 424-8445 or through our online contact form. Flagler Personal Injury Group services the greater Miami area.
We handle a variety of cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
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