Approximately 17,500 people in the United States suffer from injuries to their spinal cords every year. That is about 48 new injuries that are sustained every day. The number one cause of spinal cord injuries is car accidents (38.4%), followed by accidental falls (30.5%), violence (13.5%) and sports-related injuries (8.9%).
Spinal cord injuries include injuries to both the upper and lower back, the neck, the muscles that surround the spinal cord, spinal cells, vertebrae, and the nerves that run alongside the spine. These injuries can range from fairly mild to completely devastating and life-altering.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is divided into four separate sections, the cervical, the thoracic, the lumbar, and the sacral. Each section of the spine protects different groups of nerves that control the body. The nature and severity of spinal cord injuries depend on the section of the spine that sustains the damage.
- Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries – The head and neck region above the shoulders are affected by cervical spinal cord injuries
- Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries – The hips and legs are affected by lumbar spinal cord injuries
- Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries – The upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscles are affected by injuries to the thoracic spinal cord
- Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries – The hips, back of the thighs, buttocks, and pelvic organs are affected by injuries to the sacral spinal cord
Spinal cord injuries can be divided into two types of injury, complete injury, and incomplete injury.
- Complete spinal cord injury – causes permanent damage to the affected area of the spinal cord. Paraplegia or tetraplegia are results of complete spinal cord injuries.
- Incomplete spinal cord injury – refers to partial damage to the spinal cord. The ability to move and the amount of feeling left is contingent on the location and the severity of the injury. Patient’s health and medical history play a role.
Is There A Cure?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for spinal cord injury at this time but researchers and scientists studying spinal cord injuries have made great strides in advancements in a laboratory setting. Most of these advancements result in a decrease in damage at the time the injury occurs. Steroid drugs, such as methylprednisolone, reduce swelling, which is a common cause of secondary damage at the time of injury.
Will a Spinal Cord Injury Heal on Its Own?
A spinal cord injury most often involves the swelling of the spinal cord. This can cause massive changes to potentially every single system in the body. After days or sometimes even weeks, the swelling may start to go down, and the patient may regain a bit of functioning. With special regard to the incomplete injuries, it could be as long as 18 months before the patient might recover some function. In extremely rare cases, patients with spinal cord injuries will regain some functioning years after the injury.
South Carolina Injury Attorney
There are many ways in which someone could suffer from a spinal cord injury. If you are in this unfortunate position and feel that the cause of your injury is due to the negligence or carelessness of another person, then you need to contact a professional spinal cord injury attorney as soon as you are able to do so. Let the accomplished legal team here at Nye Law Group help you through this difficult time. We have plenty of experience in winning these types of cases for our clients and making sure that they get the maximum in financial recovery. If you would like a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, then please reach out to us by calling (912) 200-5230 and speaking with someone today.