One-third of all spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents.
The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that controls sensory and motor functions and any sort of injury causing damage to the spine can be catastrophic. Injuries to the spine can cause immediate damage; however, the effects of a spinal cord injury can be delayed by days later. For this reason, injuries to the spine require a quick and definitive diagnosis.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
In the U.S., it is estimated that about 12,000 cases of spinal cord injuries are reported every year – which amounts to around 30 injuries a day. These injuries can be caused by slips and falls, birth-related injuries, sports-related accidents, and motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), about one-third of all spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents, making auto accidents the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
Complete spinal cord injury causes complete loss of function of the body from below the area of injury on the spine. These types of injuries can result in:
- Paraplegia – Paraplegia refers to complete loss of motor and sensory function in the lower extremities of the body.
- Quadriplegia – Quadriplegia refers to complete loss of motor and sensory function in the torso and the four limbs.
Recovery from complete spinal cord injuries is rare and often results in permanent disability. Extensive rehabilitation, reconstructive surgery, and physical therapy can help an injured person regain a certain level of independence with the assistance of a wheelchair.
Partial Spinal Cord Injuries
Partial or incomplete spinal cord injuries are more common. Such injuries are characterized by limited motor or sensory functioning of the body from below the injured area of the spine. At times, certain functions that are hampered during injury can be regained after the injury heals. At times, the extent of injury cannot be determined until symptoms begin affecting the regular functioning of a person’s body. Partial spinal cord injuries include:
- Anterior cord syndrome – spinal cord injuries to the front of the spine causing loss of temperature sensation, inability to feel pain, and loss of sensory functions of areas below the spot of injury.
- Posterior cord syndrome – spinal cord injuries to the back of the spine causing loss of temperature sensation and coordination and the inability to feel pain.
- Central cord syndrome – injuries to the center of the spine causing loss of functionality in the arms.
- Brown-sequard syndrome – injury caused on either side of the spine causing loss of motor function and retention of sensory function of one side and retention of motor function and loss of sensory function on the other side of the body.
- Cauda equina lesion – partial or complete impairment of sensation caused due to injury to the nerve end grouping in between the first and second lumbar region.
St. Louis Automobile Accident Lawyers
Spinal cord injuries are life altering. Individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries experience physical trauma, mental stress, and overwhelming medical expenses. If you or someone close to you has suffered a spinal cord injury due to a car accident, contact a St. Louis automobile accident lawyers to help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses. Call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242 for a free consultation.