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Knowing The Facts About Spinal Cord Injury

Accidents happen and sadly, they happen more often than we’d like to admit. Whether it’s a car crash or a slip and fall, accidents can cost a lot physically, mentally, and financially. One of the most severe injuries that can come out of an accident is a spinal cord injury.

What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back. These nerves carry signals back and forth between your body and brain. When your spinal cord is injured, the signals get disrupted. Typically a spinal cord injury begins with a blow that either fractures or dislocates your vertebrae, the bone disks that make up the spine. The majority of spinal cord injuries don’t cut through your spinal cord. Instead, it cause damage when pieces of vertebrae tear into cord tissue or press down on the nerve parts that carry signals.

Diagnosing Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are not always immediately recognizable. The following injuries should be assessed in case of possible damage to the spinal cord:

  • •Head injuries, especially those with trauma to the face
    •Pelvic fractures
    •Injuries involved with falling from heights
    •Penetrating injuries in the area of the spine

Signs & Symptoms Of A Spinal Cord Injury

The severity of a spinal cord injury is often referred to as it’s “completeness”. When almost all ability to control movement and feeling are lost below the spinal cord, this is known as being “complete”. If there is still some motor or sensory function below the injured area, your injury is “incomplete”.

Additionally, paralysis from a spinal cord injury may be referred to as either Paraplegia or Tetraplegia. Paraplegia means that this paralysis affects all or part of your legs, trunk, and pelvic organs. Tetraplegia, also known as Quadriplegia, means that your arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected by your injury.

  • •Loss of control over part of the body
    •Urinary or bowel problems
    •Decline of feelings in the extremities
    •Acute back, neck, or head pain
    •Walking difficulty
    •Difficulty breathing
    •Head or spine lumps

Causes Of A Spinal Cord Injury

There are a variety of ways to injure your spinal cord, but the following are the 3 most common causes of a spinal cord injury.

  • 1) Motor vehicle accidents. Auto and motorcycle accidents remain the leading cause of most spinal cord injuries and currently account for 35 percent of spinal cord injuries every year. This is often due to the neck and head jerking reaction that can often occur in an auto accident which can make it all too easy to hurt and injury your spine.
    2) Slip and falls. These account for about 25 percent of all spinal cord injuries, but are the most likely cause for those who are 65 years old or older. Since older adults have much more fragile bones than normal, this make it all too easy for them to fall and severely injure themselves.
    3) Violent acts and encounter. As much as we wish it wasn’t true, around 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries are the result of a violent encounter. Most often this involves a gunshot or knife wounds and unlike the others is much harder to protect yourself from.

Treatment For Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is a medical emergency that needs immediate treatment. If you suspect that someone may have a spinal cord injury you should call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. While you wait for the medical professionals to arrive, try to keep the patient’s head still in order to prevent further damage.

Immediate treatment of a spinal cord injury includes medicines, braces or traction to stabilize the spine, and surgery. Later treatment typically includes medicines and rehabilitations therapy. During and sometimes after recovery you may need mobility aids and assistive devices to help you get around and do daily tasks.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Knowing The Facts About Spinal Cord Injury

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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