Spinal Cord Injury
Carrollton Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
The spinal cord is made up of nerve cells that carry sensory data from areas outside the spinal cord to the brain, and carry motor commands and pain signals that occur throughout the body. Motor commands and pain signals are transmitted to or from the different areas of the spinal cord known as cervical (C); thoracic (T); and the lumbar regions (L). Each of these areas represents a specific area of the body.
- C1-C4: head and neck
- C3-C5: diaphragm (chest and breathing)
- C5-T1: shoulders, arms and hands
- T2-T12: chest and abdomen
- L1-L4: abdomen, buttocks, genitals and thighs
- L4-S1: legs and feet
- S2-S4: genitals, muscles of the perineum
Spinal Cord Injury
The Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury reports that the most prevalent cause of spinal cord injury in the United States are the result of vehicle accidents: 42% of all spinal cord injuries result from them. The next two most common injuries result from falls (15%) and acts of violence (8%).
Spinal cord injury symptoms vary depending on the type of injury, the level involved, and the severity. People often confuse a spinal cord injury with a back injury. A spinal cord injury occurs as a result of damage to the cord itself which results in the loss of feeling or mobility and a loss of function, whereas a back injury involves ruptured disks or pinched nerves along with similar symptoms, but results from damage that occurs outside of the spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering with many complications including:
- Inability to breathe without mechanical intervention
- Inability to regulate the heart rate, blood pressure or heat regulation
- Muscle atrophy
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Gall bladder and renal stones
- Sexual dysfunction
- Spasticity, increased reflexes or limb stiffness
- Osteoporosis and bone degeneration
There are two types of spinal cord injury: complete and incomplete. A complete injury results in the loss of all ability to feel and move below the level of the injury, while an incomplete injury may result in some functioning below the level of injury. The American Spinal Injury Association has a classification system that classifies spinal cord injuries into five distinct categories (“A” through “E”).
- “A” – complete injury with the loss of both motor and sensory function
- “B” – incomplete injury with some sensation but no motor function
- “C” – incomplete injury where motor function is preserved below the neurological level at a grade of less than 3 (indicates full range of motion against gravity)
- “D” - incomplete injury where motor function is preserved below the neurological level and at least half of key muscles have a muscle grade of 3 or more
- “E” – sensory and motor function are normal but neurological deficits are appreciated without sensory or motor function loss
Regardless of whether you have suffered a complete or an incomplete spinal cord injury, people with these types of injuries suffer long-term or life-long disabilities and monumental medical and care giving expenses. In addition, spinal cord injuries are serious and life-altering events which often make it impossible for the injured to return to work or a normal lifestyle.
Call Zinda Law Group Today
The caring and compassionate attorneys at Zinda Law Group are knowledgeable about spinal cord injuries and the problems associated with these types of injuries. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 and let us help you.