ClickCease What Are the Different Types of Spinal Cord and Spine Injuries?

What Are the Different Types of Spinal Cord and Spine Injuries?

How Serious Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries and spinal injuries often have massive impacts on victims. Spinal cord damage affects the central nervous system, bowel control, bladder control, and other body functions. Spinal cord damage often requires physical therapy and can result in chronic pain.

Spinal cord and spinal injuries cover a variety of types. They can be broadly categorized as complete spinal cord injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries. They can also be divided into four major types: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral injuries. Causes of spinal cord injuries are just as varied, though they generally involve some kind of trauma or a chronic condition.

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The level of injury determines how much financial compensation you are entitled to after an accident. After seeking medical care, legal representation is the next big step in getting justice for your spine or spinal cord injury.

At Regan Zambri Long, our spinal cord injury lawyers are well-versed in spinal cord injury cases. We are ready to help you seek justice for the pain and suffering your spinal injuries are causing.

What Are the Four Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?

What are the types of spinal cord injuries?Spinal cord injuries come in one of four types, based on the location of the injury. The spinal column is divided into four segments. Spinal injury to each segment impacts the injured person differently.

Cervical Injuries

Cervical spinal cord injuries occur at the top of the spinal column, in the neck. These injuries can often result in quadriplegia, the limited or complete absence of feeling and function below the shoulders and neck.

Thoracic Injuries

Mid-back injuries can often leave victims with weakened muscle tone in the legs, lack of control over the bladder and bowels, and even spread into the arms and chest muscles, depending on which vertebrae and nerves are affected.

Lumbar Injuries

The lumbar or lower back carries a lot of the spine’s weight, and injuries to this area can affect the motor function of the hips and legs. It may cause permanent paralysis in the legs and loss of voluntary control over pelvic organs.

Sacrum Injuries

Sacral spine injuries do not impact the spinal cord itself. However, affected nerves can impact the victim’s leg and hip movement. An injured person may also lose voluntary control over their pelvic organs. Sacrum injuries are not common, and usually, injury occurs due to direct trauma to the sacrum.

What Are the Most Common Spine or Spinal Cord Injuries?

Recent studies have found that more than 17,000 people suffer new spinal cord injuries each year in the United States. The leading cause of these injuries is motor vehicle accidents, which cause 38 percent of new spinal injuries each year. Falls are a close second, comprising 30 percent of new cases.

Most spinal injuries occur in the spinal column, on the tissue and bones that surround the spinal cord itself. The extent of damage to the nerve fibers in the affected area depends on the severity of the injury.

Central Cord Syndrome

The most common type of spinal cord injury, central cord syndrome is caused by hyperextension of the neck that compresses the cervical spinal cord. Approximately 11,000 new cases of central cord syndrome occur in the US each year. The most common complaint of central cord syndrome is weakness in the arms.

Anterior Cord Syndrome

Also known as ventral cord syndrome, this spinal cord injury is another kind of incomplete spinal cord injury that affects the aspect of the spinal cord that faces the front body. Victims usually experience motor paralysis below the point of injury, as well as loss of sensation. These kinds of accidents often occur as a result of surgical complications, though other causes are possible.

Posterior Cord Syndrome

The posterior cord generally controls the ability to feel vibration, fine touch, and proprioception, the sense of location, movement, and action of body parts. An injury to the posterior cord inhibits these sensations below the injury point, though sensations of pain and temperature are usually still intact. Degenerative disc disease and multiple sclerosis are two common causes of posterior cord injuries.

Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard syndrome is a rare neurological condition caused by a lesion in the spinal cord. Victims experience weakness or paralysis on one side of the body and a loss of sensation on the other side.

Conus Medullaris Syndrome

Caused by compression of the spinal cord in the lower back, conus medullaris syndrome is a rare injury that can result from herniated discs.

Neurogenic Shock

Neurogenic shock can occur with spinal injuries, most commonly in cervical and upper thoracic injuries. It is characterized by loss of blood flow to organ tissue. Up to 31 percent of upper spinal cord injuries experience neurogenic shock.

What Are Common Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Each spinal cord injury can have its own symptoms, and each person experiences their injury differently. However, some symptoms do overlap. Common symptoms of a spinal injury include:

  • numbness and tingling
  • loss or change of sensations, such as experiencing heat, cold, or touch
  • paralysis
  • pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back
  • loss of bladder and bowel control
  • difficulty breathing
  • problems with the motor function of the limbs

What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Spinal Injury?

In addition to paralysis or limited motor function, spinal injuries can lead to additional health complications and conditions. Because nerve cells are affected, spinal injuries spread beyond just the spine. Some long-term effects include:

  • Breathing problems occur when an injury to the cervical spine makes it difficult for a victim’s diaphragm to move and the lungs to inflate. Approximately one-third of spinal cord injury victims will have breathing problems.
  • Circulatory problems can lead to unstable blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, and blood clots.
  • Pressure sores from pressure on the skin and reduced blood flow.
  • Bladder and bowel problems as the injured person learns new ways to manage these bodily functions.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections.
  • Depression from this drastic life change.

What Is the Difference Between Types of Spinal Cord Spine Injuries?

Types of spinal cord injuriesThe main difference between types of spinal injuries is where the injury occurred and where the injury affects the victim. Spinal cord injuries can also be categorized as complete or incomplete injuries. This categorization depends on the amount of feeling and function a victim has.

What is a Complete Spinal Cord Injury?

A complete spinal cord injury means that, below the point of injury, brain signals are unable to get through. For example, if you suffer a complete spinal cord injury in your mid back, you will have no feeling, muscle movement or control, or function below the injury site.

What is an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury?

Incomplete spinal cord injuries allow some brain signals to get past the point of injury. Victims of a mid-back incomplete injury will still have some feeling, function, and muscle control below the injury site, though they may still experience some paralysis and loss of feeling and function.

How do Spine and Spinal Cord Injuries Happen?

Some of the most common causes of spinal cord and spine injuries include motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, and slips and falls. Traumatic spinal cord injuries occur from acts of violence, such as gunshot wounds or stabbings. These injuries make up approximately 12 percent of spinal cord injuries.

Many sports-related spinal cord injuries occur from impact sports, such as football and hockey, or diving accidents. Falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries among the 65 and older population.

A spinal cord injury occurs when the nerve roots or bones surrounding the spinal cord are harmed. Recovery from a spinal cord injury depends on the location and severity of the injury. In all but mild cases, physical and occupational therapists will play an essential role in helping spinal cord injury victims recover mobility and independence.

Should I Hire Regan Zambri Long for My Spine Injury?

Personal injury law can be complicated when questions of liability and negligence arise. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side is crucial to ensuring you recover the compensation you deserve.

You have many options for legal counsel, but Regan Zambri Long stands out as the best law firm in the DC Metro area. Our team has more than 100 years of cumulative experience with personal injury law and spinal injuries in particular.

Your lawyer will investigate your case and collect evidence and witness statements to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your accident and injuries. Your lawyer will also negotiate with liable parties and insurance companies to get a fair settlement on your behalf. If settlement negotiations fail, your lawyer will represent you in a trial.

Regan Zambri Long has the experience and expertise to take on your spinal cord injury and make a recovery in your favor. You can schedule a free consultation online or by calling 202-960-4596.

How Much Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?

Most spinal cord lawyers are paid using a contingency fee structure. A contingency fee means you do not owe a fee until the case has been settled or reached a verdict. Once the case is resolved, your attorney will take a portion of your settlement as their fee. If your case is not successful, you do not owe anything.

A contingency fee agreement gives injury victims a chance to have an experienced accident lawyer helping them with their claims without worrying about costs, especially after a catastrophic accident such as a spinal cord injury.

How Much is My Case Worth?

Spinal cord injuries vary in severity, which means each case will be valued differently. The facts of the case, the extent of your injuries and losses, and the fullness of recovery can all factor into how much compensation you are entitled to.

An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer from Regan Zambri Long will help you value your claim and determine fair compensation. You can schedule a free consultation today by calling 202-960-4596.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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