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What Should I Know about my Spinal Cord Injury?

doctors looking at x rays

The spinal cord is responsible for relaying messages between the brain and the rest of the body. It is protected by layers of tissues and a column of spinal bones that are also referred to as the vertebrae. When the spinal cord is damaged, the body may lose a variety of essential functions due to the lack of communication between the nerves and the brain, which can usually affect muscle movement, reflexes, breathing, and bladder and bowel functions. Although often confused. Back and spinal cord injuries may be similar in certain elements, but they are not the same. Spinal cord injuries can be either incomplete (partial) or incomplete:

Incomplete – the body and brain can still communicate in specific ways, and some functionality remains on one or both sides of the body.

Complete – total loss of function below the site of the injury. May causes paralysis of all four limbs (also known as quadriplegia) or the lower of the body (paraplegia).

Causes of Spinal Cord Injury

Although there can be many different cases, most spinal cord injuries come from traumatic and unexpected damage to an area of the vertebrae, usually resulting in fractured or broken bones that damage the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. Common causes of spinal cord injuries typically include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Surgical accidents

Symptoms of SCI

When suffering from a spinal cord injury, many symptoms may arise and be a sign to seek medical attention immediately. These symptoms include:

  • Loss of bladder control
  • Weakness in arms and legs
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Decreased sensations in the arms and legs
  • Unusual lumps along the spine
  • Severe pain or pressure in the neck or back

When seeking medical attention for SCI, doctors may access patients in many ways to diagnose the injury. They will first ensure that the damage doesn't affect the victim's breathing or heart rate. Once that is determined, doctors will assess motor (ability to move parts of the body) along with sensory (ability to feel or touch) functions. Many imaging tests such as MRIs or CT scans are used to help determine the severity of spinal cord injuries, along with electromyogram (EMG) machines, which check the electrical activity in the victim's muscle and nerve cells if there are co-exist peripheral nerve injuries.

Contact an Attorney

If you or someone you know has suffered spinal cord-related injuries due to another person's negligence, you may be owed financial compensation. Considering working with an attorney can be beneficial when seeking financial relief. Here at Christiansen Trial Lawyers, we have a team of skilled attorneys dedicated to getting you the justice you deserve and committed to offering you support every step of the way.

Contact us today at (702) 357-9977 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our award-winning attorneys.