Spinal Cord Injury
Killeen Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
The spinal cord is a large bundle of nerves about as big as your index finger. It descends from the brain down through the hollows of the spinal column, or ring-shaped bones called vertebrae. These bones of the spine are strong and flexible with the intention to protect the spinal cord from injury and trauma while the spinal cord nerves carry the electrical impulses to and from the brain and throughout the body.
A spinal cord injury is caused by trauma rather than disease. Depending on where the damage occurs, the symptoms can vary widely including pain, loss of sensation, paralysis, incontinence or bone loss. The diagnoses of a spinal cord injury is often difficult and is often done by using radiographic tools such as x-ray, MRI or a CT. Common forms of treatment for these types of injuries include anti-inflammatory and steroidal drugs, physical therapy, pain clinics, and surgical intervention.
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries happen more often than thought and are very serious and life-altering events that often make earning a living or living a normal life difficult or impossible. People with spinal cord injuries will often suffer long-term or life-long disabilities and incur monumental medical and care giving expenses. The Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury reports the main cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States are the result of motor vehicle accidents; these injuries account for 42% of all spinal cord injuries. Other common causes of spinal cord injuries result from falls at 15%, and from acts of violence at 8%.
Complications of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries vary depending on the type of injury, which level of the spinal cord is involved, and the severity of the injury. There are many complications that result from these types of injuries, such as:
- Loss of motor function
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Gall bladder and renal stones
- Inability to breathe without mechanical intervention
- Sexual dysfunction
- Osteoporosis and bone degeneration
- Spasticity with increased reflexes and/or limb stiffness
- Inability to regulate the heart rate, blood pressure or heat regulation
- Muscle atrophy
- Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome
There are also a number of clinical syndromes associated with spinal cord injuries including:
- Central cord syndrome – results in a greater loss of upper limb function when compared to lower limb function
- Anterior cord syndrome – results from an injury on the anterior, or frontal, part of the spinal cord which results in weakness and loss of pain and thermal sensation below the area of injury.
- Brown-Se’quard syndrome – results from an injury to one side of the spinal cord that causes weakness and loss of sensation on the side of the injury only.
- Conus medullaris syndrome – results from an injury to the tip of the spinal cord at the level of L1 or lumbar vertebrae 1.
- Cauda equine syndrome – results from an injury to the spinal roots that lie below the L1 vertebrae.
- Tabes Dorsalis syndrome – results from an injury to the posterior, or rear, part of the spinal cord often as a consequence of an infective disease rather than a trauma.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, call Zinda Law Group today. Our caring and compassionate attorneys are knowledgeable about spinal cord injuries and the problems associated with them.