What You Need To Know About Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often some of the most devastating injuries a person suffers after an auto accident or slip and fall. Motor vehicle accidents are the single leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States for young people, while falls are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries for individuals over the age of 65. Each year in the United States, around 17,000 new spinal cord injuries occur, most of which are caused by trauma to the spinal column. When the spinal column experiences trauma, this can affect many other body systems as the spinal cord’s ability to send and receive messages is disrupted.
Spinal cord injuries are graded, much like traumatic brain injuries, according to the American Spinal Injury Association or ASIA. These grading scales are represented by letters, and the rate the severity of a spinal cord injury from A to E. The grading system is as follows:
• ASIA A – A graded A spinal cord injury leaves the individual with a complete spinal cord injury and no motor or sensory function preserved. Nearly 50% of all spinal cord injuries are considered complete, and these cases typically have the longest road to recovery and the most devastating consequences.
• ASIA B – With B graded spinal cord injuries, a person may have complete motor function loss, but their sensory loss is incomplete. This means they may not be able to move certain parts of their body, but they can feel these areas at least somewhat.
• ASIA C – ASIA C graded spinal cord injuries are motor incomplete spinal cord injuries, where there is some movement present, but less than half of the affected muscle groups can lift against the force of gravity or have a full range of motion.
• ASIA D – The D graded group involves motor incomplete injuries where more than half of the affected muscle groups are anti-gravity and do have a full range of motion.
• ASIA E – ASIA E graded groups are considered “normal”. An injury may be present, but that injury is not severe enough to noticeably affect motor or sensory function of muscle groups. The individual can still move and still feel all affected muscle groups within the body.
It's important to note that the more severe or more highly graded the injury, the less chance a person may have at a full recovery. Those with ASIA A or B graded spinal cord injuries may be facing a life of permanent disability after their accident.
Treatment Of Spinal Cord Injuries
Treatment of spinal cord injuries can be complex and long-lasting depending on the level of spinal cord injury a person may be dealing with. Non-surgical treatments like realigning the spine or physical therapy may be used to treat lower grade spinal cord injuries. Surgical treatments may be required for more severe spinal cord injuries in order to stabilize the spine and save an individual from worsening their condition.
The treatment for spinal cord injuries will also require frequent follow-up to either further treatment or check to make sure the spinal cord injury isn’t worsening or coming back. Even in some cases of incomplete spinal cord injury, a full recovery may not be possible.
Suffering a spinal cord injury after an auto accident in the state of Florida, or a slip and fall, can lead to devastating and life-changing consequences. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury after an accident, allow us to help you to get the compensation you deserve.