Overview of Spinal Cord Injuries from a New Orleans Medical Malpractice AttorneyFebruary 8th, 2016
According to Mayo Clinic, car accidents are responsible for approximately 35 percent of all new spinal cord injuries in the United States. Medical malpractice also causes a significant portion of these injuries.
Any injury to the spine can cause lifelong paralysis or disability. The cost of medical bills and time off work can lead to overwhelming debt and even bankruptcy.
If you were injured due to another person’s negligence, contact the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a spinal cord injury lawyer in New Orleans who can assess your claim and help you pursue the maximum compensation.
Read on for a brief overview of spinal cord injuries:
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
A complete spinal cord injury results in paralysis. Some victims may have partial movement in the trunk area, which allows them to use assistive equipment to stand and maybe walk short distances. Most complete paraplegics use a self-propelled wheelchair to move.
Victims suffer complete paraplegia when they permanently lose nerve and motor function at the T1 vertebrae or below. They lose sensation and movement from the waist down.
Complete tetraplegia, however, is paralysis from the neck down. Those injured at the first two cervical vertebrae, where the spine joins the skull, may need a ventilator system to help them breathe.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
People with incomplete spinal injuries still have some degree of movement and feeling below the injury point, as Brain and Spinal Cord explains. Patients will only notice an incomplete injury once the spinal shock subsides, usually within six and eight weeks.
These injuries can result in some movement but little to no sensation, or in some sensation but little to no movement. There are five classifications of incomplete spinal cord injuries:
1. Central Cord Syndrome
When there is damage in the spinal cord’s center, the injury causes loss of arm function but retains partial leg movement. It may be possible to recover some ability.
2. Anterior Cord Syndrome
If the front of the spinal cord suffers damage, it will impair all sensation to touch, temperature and pain below the injury point. Some movement may be possible though recovery.
3. Posterior Cord Syndrome
Trauma to the back of the spinal cord can make it difficult to coordinate movement. This injury does not affect muscle power or temperature and pain sensation.
4. Cauda Equina Lesion
This injury occurs to the nerves situated between the spine’s first and second lumbar regions. It results in complete or partial sensory loss. Occasionally, nerves regenerate and patients recover some function.
5. Brown-Sequard Syndrome
If one side of the spinal cord suffers trauma, patients will experience preserved sensation but movement loss on one side, and preserved movement but sensory loss on the other side.
A spinal contusion is the most common spinal cord injury. It results in bruising, bleeding and swelling near the cord. Patients will suffer symptoms of paralysis, but the debilitation is usually temporary, and patients recover to live normal lives.
If you suffered a spinal injury due to another person’s negligent or reckless actions, contact the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. A medical malpractice attorney can investigate the crash, gather evidence and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
David A. Bowling has more than 30 years of trial experience. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.
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