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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of an SCI?

August 23rd, 2017
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in spinal cord injury on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

If you suspect that you suffered a spinal cord injury due to a botched surgery, you should seek immediate medical attention. Although the damage may have already been done, a skilled trauma team can stabilize your condition and prevent life-threatening complications from arising.




Doctors typically diagnose SCIs after determining that a patient is experiencing loss of function below the area where the injury occurred; however, there are several other signs of spinal cord injuries that most people do not associate with spinal trauma.

If you or someone you love sustained a catastrophic injury during a medical procedure, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. David A. Bowling will evaluate your situation and help you file a medical malpractice claim. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a New Orleans spinal cord injury attorney.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?

No two spinal cord injuries are the same; however, there are certain signs and symptoms that many SCIs exhibit immediately. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, some of the most common SCI symptoms include:

Extreme pressure or pain in the head, neck, or back;

Loss of sensation or tingling in the fingers, hands, toes, or feet;

Urinary or bowel urgency and incontinence;

Loss of control over any body part;

Poor coordination and balance;

Unusual pain or pressure in the thorax;

Unusual lumps on the spine or head; and

Difficulty breathing.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Spinal Cord Injuries?

If a patient does not exhibit any of the above symptoms and has not sustained other injuries that might be diverting his or her attention from the aftermath of a spinal cord injury, a doctor may deduce that there is no significant SCI. If the patient does exhibit one or more of the above symptoms, though, he or she will likely have to wear a rigid collar that keeps the cervical spine in place until various radiological evaluations reveal the full extent of any injuries.

Patients who may have suffered an SCI might undergo X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. If such diagnostic tests reveal that a spinal cord injury is present, the long-term treatment will depend on a variety of factors. Immediate treatment approaches include immobilizing the spine and addressing any life-threatening complications.

Healthcare providers typically admit individuals who have sustained an SCI to the intensive care unit. In the ICU, doctors and nurses will maintain the patient’s blood pressure, monitor cardiovascular functioning, ensure adequate lung function, and prevent infections and other complications until the patient’s condition stabilizes and long-term treatment can begin.

If you sustained a spinal cord injury due to a medical mistake, turn to The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. You may be entitled to compensation for healthcare bills, lost wages, modifications to your home, and other damages.

Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in New Orleans. If you would like to learn more about personal injury claims in Louisiana, visit

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