What are the Signs of Spinal Cord Injury After an Accident?
You’ve recently sustained a head injury in a car accident and are now experiencing symptoms. Could your signs and symptoms result from a spinal cord injury?
It’s possible – the spinal cord is complex and performs several essential functions; it is also highly vulnerable to injury.
The spinal cord is a group of nerve fibers, nerve cells, and blood vessels that extend from the brain to the lower back, running through the center of the spinal column. The nerve fibers transmit important information between the brain and the rest of the body. The millions of nerve cells inside the spinal cord also coordinate breathing, walking, and other complex patterns of movement. The bones of the spinal column surround and protect the spinal cord, but injuries can still occur. Any injury to the spinal cord that damages the nerve fibers or nerve cells can cause long-term consequences that can prevent you from leading a normal life.
About Spinal Cord Injuries
Car accidents and catastrophic falls are the two most common causes of spinal cord injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Other causes include gunshot wounds and assaults, sports injuries, surgical injuries, industrial accidents, and diseases or conditions that affect the spinal cord.
They are common. About 18,000 people survive spinal cord injuries (SCI)in the United States each year, and about 302,000 Americans live with an SCI.
Signs and Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
The signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries can vary widely from person to person. The specific signs – and their severity – depend largely on the location of the injury and the number of nerve fibers damaged. An injury can damage a few, almost all, or all the nerve fibers and cells that cross the site of injury.
An injury that damages all or most of the nerve fibers in the upper part of the spinal cord can cause paralysis in most of the body, affecting your arms and your legs in a condition known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia. The injury may prevent you from having full use of your fingers, hands, arms, chest, legs, feet, or toes. An injury to the lower part of the spinal cord may cause paralysis in your lower legs. Doctors call this paraplegia.
Other signs and symptoms of spinal cord injury include:
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and/or feet
- Loss of sensation in your hands and/or feet
- Paralysis that may occur immediately after your accident or develop later as swelling and bleeding press against your spinal cord
- Feeling pressure or pain in your head, neck, or back
- Loss of movement, especially in your arms or legs
- Weakness or inability to move any part of your body
- Holding your head or spine in an unnatural position
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Difficulty bearing weight on your legs or walking
- Trouble breathing
- Decreases in sexual function
Contact Larry Wall Trial Law If You Suspect A Spinal Cord Injury After An Accident
If you are having signs of a spinal cord injury, seek medical help immediately and then talk to our personal injury attorney. Kansas law protects your right to fair compensation for your spinal cord injury after an accident, but you need a lawyer who knows how to get you everything you need and deserve after your car accident. Contact your family and personal injury attorney in Witchita, KS, at Larry Wall Trial Law.