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Understanding the basics of Kentucky spinal cord injuries

March 31, 2016

When you are involved in a car accident, you may suffer an array of injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic. This includes spinal cord injuries. At the law firm of Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C., we know that suffering an injury of this type may leave you afraid and unsure of your future. In this post, we will provide an overview of spinal cord injuries.

In general, a spinal cord injury may result if you suffer damage to the bundle of nerves that runs down the center of your back. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this typically occurs due to pieces of your vertebrae pressing down on the nerve parts or tearing into the cord tissue. This may be due to a dislocation or fracture of your vertebrae.

Some spinal cord injuries are incomplete, while others are complete. With an incomplete spinal cord injury, you will have some sensory or motor function below your injury. If your spinal cord injury is complete, you may suffer from paralysis below your injury site. This is because the ability of your spinal cord to send signals below that area may be impaired.

After suffering a spinal cord injury, you may experience a range of symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common of these include the following:

  •          Loss of feeling
  •          Spasms or exaggerated reflex activities
  •          Difficulty coughing or breathing
  •          Loss of motor function
  •          Pain

Additionally, you may experience changes in your sexual sensitivity or function, as well as your fertility, following a spinal cord injury.

With few exceptions, spinal cord injuries are medical emergencies and require immediate treatment. Right after this type of injury, you may require traction, a brace or surgery to help stabilize your spine. You may also be prescribed medications to treat your symptoms and reduce inflammation. In the long-term, you may require physical or occupational rehabilitation, or the use of assistive devices or mobility aids.

For more information on potential serious injuries that may result due to motor vehicle accidents or other incidents, please visit our neck and back injury page.