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What Determines the Severity of an SCI?

September 27th, 2017
On behalf of David Bowling of The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, A Professional Law Corporation posted in spinal cord injury on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Spinal cord injuries are similar to brain injuries in that each and every one is different. Although healthcare providers may witness trends when treating SCIs, there is no way to predict how a particular injury might impact an individual in the long run nor if he or she will ever recover fully.




According to the Spinal Cord Injury Model System Information Network, there is no proven way to restore the full functioning of the central nervous system following an SCI; however, individuals who sustain minor spinal cord injuries can often restore near-normal functioning with extensive treatment and rehabilitation therapy. In fact, almost everyone who sustains an SCI can expect to experience at least some improvement with regular treatment. It is important to remember that there are no guarantees, though, and it can take months or even years to witness progress.

If you sustained a catastrophic injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to hold the liable party financially accountable for the damages you incurred. To discuss your case with a spinal cord injury attorney and determine if you have a valid claim, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm.

Our Firm is an AV-rated law Firm under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a case evaluation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Baton Rouge.

What Determines the Severity of an SCI?

The brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves make up the central nervous system, which is responsible for carrying out all essential functions of the body. SCIs are often catastrophic because the spinal cord transmits signals from the brain to the body. If anything inhibits these transmissions, various functions throughout the body will cease.

When it comes to the severity of an SCI, the greatest determining factor is the location of the injury. An injury at the base of the spinal cord, near the lower back, will likely only inhibit functions below the waist. An injury near the neck, on the other hand, can inhibit functioning from the neck down, essentially affecting the entire body.

In general, the closer the injury is to the brain, the more debilitating it will be. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, there are two main kinds of SCIs: tetraplegia and paraplegia.

Tetraplegia, or quadriplegia, results from SCIs that are higher up on the spine, like in the neck region, and it affects muscle strength in both the arms and the legs. Paraplegia results from SCIs lower on the spine and affects just the legs or lower half of the body.

Although every SCI is different, doctors can place each injury in one of two main categories: complete or incomplete. A complete SCI results in total loss of all sensory and motor function below where the injury occurred, and both sides of the body are equally inhibited.

Patient with an incomplete SCI retain some functioning below the location of injury, and they might experience the loss of their sensory and motor function more in one limb or one side of the body than the other.

Regardless of its severity, recovering from a spinal cord injury is never easy. It can drain both the accident victim and his or her loved ones physically, emotionally, and financially.

If you or someone you love sustained a spinal cord injury and you are not sure how your family will be able to manage, contact The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a compassionate spinal cord injury attorney in Baton Rouge. You can learn more about personal injury claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.

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