Severing the spinal cord is an injury that can drastically change someone’s life. Depending on the type and location of the injury, they may never walk again, never have full use of their hands, or they may be confined to a ventilator in order to breathe. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at UAB, there are 12,500 cases of spinal cord damage each year. These injuries occur at work, in premises accidents, in sports, and on the roadways. In fact, auto accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord death. And unfortunately, due in part to restrictions on stem cell research and funding, there is still no cure for a severed spinal cord. At this point, major nerve damage is irreversible, though some levels of recovery can be made if the injury was not complete, as described below.
Two Types of Spinal Cord Injury: Complete and Incomplete
As reported by BrainandSpinalCord.com, there are two categories of spinal cord injury. An incomplete spinal injury results in only partial loss of sensation and movement below the injury site, while a complete injury results in total loss of feeling and movement. Below are the different types of incomplete injuries.
Below are the five variations of incomplete spinal cord injuries.
Anterior Cord Syndrome
An injury to the front of the spinal cord, anterior cord syndrome impairs sensations. However, some movement may be recovered.
An injury to only one side of the spinal cord, brown sequard syndrome results in impaired mobility with intact sensation on one side of the body, and impaired sensation with intact mobility on the other.
Cauda Equina Lesion
Cauda Equina Lesion injury results in complete or partial loss of sensation, though in some cases nerves may be able to regenerate.
Central Cord Syndrome
Central cord syndrome results in lost arm movement with some leg movement intact. Some degree of recovery may be possible in certain circumstances.
Posterior Cord Syndrome
One type of spinal cord injury, posterior cord syndrome, does not impair a person’s ability to contract their muscles or their ability to feel, but does impair coordination.
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
If the spinal cord is fully severed, it will result in a complete injury. This results in paraplegia or tetraplegia. Paraplegics are unable to move or feel their legs, and have impaired bowel and bladder control. However, some paraplegics have partial trunk mobility, which may allow them to stand or even walk for short distances with the use of walking devices. Tetraplegics, also known as quadriplegics, have no feeling or ability to move their legs, but may have some hand and arm mobility. If the injury was very severe and located high up on the spinal cord, they may rely on a ventilator to breathe.
If you or a loved one have suffered the tragedy of a spinal cord injury from a motor vehicle collision, contact an experienced Cleveland, Ohio car accident attorney today at the law offices of Ohio Car Accident Lawyers .