Paraplegia and Quadriplegia: Spinal Cord Injuries Due often to Someone Else’s Negligence

Millions of nerve fibers actually make up the spinal cord. These fibers are responsible for transmitting electrical signals to the different parts of the body. Nerves exiting the spinal cord’s upper section, for instance, control the movement of our arms and our breathing; the nerves that exit the mid and lower sections of our back allow us to have on our trunk and legs, sexual function, and bowel and bladder movements. Thus, any damage or harm to the spinal cord (even to the spinal or vertebral column) can cause failure in the transmission of signals from the brain to the parts of the body below the injured area. This can result to paralysis or loss of function on affected parts.

Any form of injury, especially severe injury, to the spinal cord can be devastating due to the very important function it plays. Spinal cord damage can result to partial or total paralysis, depending on how severe the damage is and the specific area affected by the injury. Partial paralysis, or Paraplegia, is loss of control and function on one side of a person’s body. Despite having lost control in the paralyzed area, there is still possibility that he/she would still have sensation, though.

Total paralysis, or Quadriplegia, on the other hand, is total loss of functions and control of body parts. Total paralysis starts from the area of the spinal cord that has been injured down to the rest of the body; this means that the higher the injury, the greater the extent of the paralysis.

A spinal injury can a result of a traumatic or a non-traumatic experience. The causes of a traumatic spinal cord injury include a knife or a gunshot wound that pierces and cuts the nerves in the spinal cord, or a sudden blow that dislocates, fractures or crushes an area of the vertebral column (this forceful, sudden blow can be caused by a car crash). A non-traumatic spinal cord injury, however, can be due to an illness, such as cancer, arthritis, infection, inflammation or disc collapse of the spine.

The Toronto spinal cord injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates know that “Spinal cord injuries almost always result in significant disabilities, making it nearly impossible to live life as planned. Activities such as sports, walking a dog, and other basic life tasks are often no longer possible for those who sustain spinal cord injuries. These injuries can occur for numerous reasons, many of which are caused by major accidents such as car accidents, slip and falls, and sports injuries. Spinal cord injuries are difficult to deal with for everyone involved, and when the accident was not the fault of the injured it is unfair for them to face the consequences alone. Spinal cord injury victims also need a much higher level of support and care, as well as the highest amount of compensation possible, whether it is from the at-fault party or an insurance provider.

Understanding The Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that runs from the bottom of the brain all the way to the back. It consists of 31 pairs of nerves that cover the arms, legs, chest, and abdomen. The spinal cord works hand in hand with the brain in communication with the muscles and causing the movement of the arms and legs. According to the website of Hankey Law Office, injuries in the spinal cord can be extremely debilitating.

Statistics reveal that vehicular accidents account for 36.5% of causes of spinal cord injuries followed by falls at 28.5%. Unlike other organs of the body, the spinal cord is unable to repair itself once damaged. There are two types of spinal cord injuries namely complete or incomplete. Let us differentiate one from the other.

In a complete spinal cord injury, there is a total absence of sensation and muscle function in the body below the level of injury. They often occur at any level of the spinal cord. Meanwhile, incomplete injury is characterized by some function below the injury. Like a complete spinal cord injury, the incomplete one can also happen at any level of the spinal cord.

Spinal cord injuries can have a wide range of symptoms. These signals are unique for each individual and may include the following:

  • Weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the trunk, arms, or legs
  • Absence of feelings in the trunk, arms, or legs
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Problems with breathing
  • Problems with heart rate and blood pressure
  • Problems with digestion
  • Absence of bowel and bladder function
  • Sexual dysfunction

It is worth noting that the symptoms of spinal cord injury are similar to other medical conditions or problems. It is best to always talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis. The type of injury will determine the rehabilitation potential of the injured person.