Common causes and possible treatments for spinal cord injuries
The human spinal cord is composed of millions of cells that form the basic structure that holds our bodies in place. Furthermore, it houses essential nerves and receptors, which act as gateways for brain transmissions, allowing us to carry out tasks like walking, sitting, stretching and standing straight.
Without these vital functions, one can experience severe impairment in their mobility and way of life. A spinal cord injury can result in detrimental effects to your health. Depending on the severity of the damage, one can experience difficulty breathing, temporary or permanent paralysis or even death.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA), more than 450,000 Americans live with a spinal cord injury (SCI) while 17,000 new SCI cases occur each year.
If you or your loved ones suffer from spinal cord injury as a result of a workplace, motor vehicle or surgical accident, now is the time to consider filing for a spinal cord injury lawsuit to claim the compensation you deserve. However, without the proper knowledge and assistance, filing for compensation can easily turn south since insurance companies and attorneys are working relentlessly to invalidate your claims.
To help justify your claim, consider hiring a professional personal injury lawyer in Macon, Georgia, and receive the legal representation and justice you deserve.
Types of spinal cord injuries
There are various types of spinal cord injuries.
1. Incomplete injury
Partial paralysis is a common type of spinal cord injury. There are 3 general types of incomplete spinal cord injury, commonly known as:
- Brown-Sequard syndrome (BSS). This type of incomplete SCI occurs on one side of the spinal cord, where the injury has occurred. BSS is a rare neurological syndrome that causes paralysis on one side of the body (known as hemiparaplegia) and a direct loss of sensation on the opposite side (referred to as hemianesthesia).
- Central cord syndrome. CSS is a common form of SCI that affects the spine as a direct result of trauma to the center of the cervical vertebrae, causing neck and nerve damage throughout the arms.
- Anterior cord syndrome (ACS). ACS is associated with hyperflexion injury at the front of the spine, leading to temporary sensory and motor damage.
2. Complete injury
A complete spinal cord injury poses more adverse and long-term damage to the body’s skeleton structure and mobility, often resulting in permanent paralysis and fatalities. At this stage, there is no feeling of sensation and muscle mobility within the body. In some cases, all control is wholly lost depending on the point of impact on the vertebrae, and results in:
- Paraplegia. Sufficient damage to the lower section of the back can lead to paralysis of the legs. In medical terms, this is defined as paraplegia.
- Quadriplegia. Injury to the upper section of the spinal cord, especially around the base of the neck can cause loss of function in arms and legs, also known as quadriplegia.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
What can cause these serious and life-changing injuries?
Many things. But these are some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in Georgia.
1. Car accidents
Car accidents are the leading contributor to SCI among youth in the United States. What happens when your loved ones face a head-on collision at the fault of the oncoming motorist? If the circumstance proves that they were in their respective lanes, a personal injury or spinal cord injury lawsuit can be filed against the motorist responsible.
2. Slip, trip and falls
Slip and fall accidents are the most common causes of SCI in workplaces dealing with heavy loads, such as in construction or factories.
3. Medical malpractice
Frequent occurrences of medical negligence that lead to SCI occur during childbirth, during operations handled by inexperienced doctors, or due to prescription errors.
4. Assault & battery
In extreme cases, a violent assault can lead to spinal cord injury, especially if a gun, crude, or sharp weapon is involved. Some common causes of assault include burglaries, home break-ins and grand theft auto.
Common symptoms of spinal cord injury
A spinal cord injury can have various symptoms, requiring medical diagnostics to determine the severity of the trauma. However, if you experience any of the following signs, be sure to visit your nearest medical practitioner.
- Waves of back pain
- Frequent or extended loss of movement
- Loss of bladder control
- Uncontrollable bowel movements
- Spinal spasms
- Muscle twitching
- Stinging sensation in nerves, muscles or spine
- Difficulty breathing
- Constant coughing and shortness of breath
Spinal injury treatment options
Treating a spinal cord injury can be quite costly as many treatment plans require months to rehabilitate a damaged spinal cord. Patients will rely on ventilators for their breathing, prescribed drugs and surgery to mitigate the damage.
Often, several surgeries are required to rectify missing, broken or misaligned spinal fragments and bones. A plastic surgeon may be needed to replace the layers of skin. After this, months of physical therapy might be required to regain lost mobility.
All of this is a taxing ordeal that drains one’s emotional and financial reserves, costing up to over a million dollars in the first year and hundreds of thousands of dollars each subsequent year. (source)
When you are in an immense amount of pain, filing a claim might be the last thing on your mind. You might not have the mental or emotional capacity to think about the deadline, let alone how you’re going to get through the week.
When to hire a Georgia spinal cord injury lawyer
A personal injury lawsuit can help compensate injury victims in Georgia for the damages and finances used during their ordeal. When considering the worth of a lawsuit, the lawyer takes into account your pain and suffering. In addition, you might be eligible for salary compensation for the wages lost during the months of recovery.
Dealing with the emotional and financial turmoil of a spinal cord injury can be cumbersome. Our specialized personal injury lawyers in Macon, GA are dedicated to addressing all types of complex claims and securing the compensation that best benefits you.