Spinal cord injuries are serious. While some treatments and therapies can help someone regain partial function and have some recovery, any damage to the spinal cord is permanent. In the most severe cases, someone could face other long-term health consequences. The spinal cord injury legal team at Peterson & Associates, P.C. in Kansas City explains more of what you should know.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A U.S. National Library of Medicine study reports that motor vehicle accidents are the top cause of spinal cord injuries. The second and third leading causes are falls and motorcycle accidents.
After sustaining a spinal cord injury, it’s critical to have an immediate medical intervention to mitigate any further damage. Even if you think you are injury-free, make sure to have a thorough medical exam, as some symptoms aren’t immediately apparent.
Long-Term Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury
Someone with a spinal cord injury faces many life-long challenges, including paralysis. There are two types:
- Paraplegia: paralysis in both legs, and sometimes in the entire lower half of the body.
- Quadriplegia: paralysis in the lower body and both legs, torso and both arms.
Someone with a spinal cord injury may also experience:
- Loss of sensation in various parts of the body
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Respiratory problems and difficulty breathing
- Lack of balance and coordination
- Walking difficulties without paralysis
Can a Spinal Cord Injury Be Repaired?
The National Institutes of Health indicate that currently, there are no methods to reverse a spinal cord injury. The damage is done. But there are some promising medical advances that may help people regain nerve function and mobility in some areas, depending on their condition. There are also other therapies and medications that focus on nerve cell regeneration.
Individuals who suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party may be eligible for additional compensation beyond the usual economic and non-economic damages, as they have more elements of daily care. A qualified attorney with expertise in catastrophic injuries can explain more.