Understanding the most common causes of spinal cord injuries can help you during your pursuit of compensation for injury-related losses. In addition, knowing who might be liable for your injury is critical information your lawyer will need.
Definition of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury (SCI) damages the spinal cord and specific nerves toward the end of the spinal canal. The spinal cord sends and receives “messages” from the brain to other body parts. These messages or signals aid in the control of our limb motions.
SCIs can happen following a direct injury to the canal or surrounding tissue and bones. The level of harm to the spine or canal depends on the source of the damage. However, it often results in lasting changes to a victim’s movements, sensations, strength, and bodily functions.
Some injuries that cause little or no cell death may allow for a near-full recovery. In contrast, those that occur higher on the spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis.
For a free legal consultation, call 877-239-4878
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury occurs following an impact to the spinal column that bruises, stretches, compacts, or otherwise damages the cord. That trauma could occur in several different ways.
Automobile and Other Vehicle Accidents
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, automobile accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries (32.9 percent). Including motorcycle and other vehicle accidents, over four in 10 spinal cord injuries result from these incidents.
Even minor fender benders can result in spinal injury. Unfortunately, many injured persons will not feel the full impact of this orthopedic injury for days, if not weeks, following the event. Therefore, you might want to contact an orthopedic specialist as soon as possible after a vehicle accident.
Apart from car accidents, falls are the second-leading cause of spinal cord injuries (21.9 percent). A fall can happen to anyone, regardless of age or health, but individuals older than 65 are especially vulnerable. A mistaken step on the stairwell or a medical emergency such as a seizure or fainting spell can result in disastrous falls.
Violence and Sports-Related Accidents
Gunshot wounds (15.5 percent) and sports-related accidents such as diving, football, and snow skiing all cause physical trauma that leads to SCIs. Severe accidents can lead to permanent disability. In addition, back surgery may be necessary to treat some spinal cord injuries.
Overexertion is a common cause of spinal cord damage among athletes, those who work physically demanding jobs, and people who do not adequately prepare before exercising. When the spine repeatedly bends at an awkward angle or under extreme stress, it can be subject to injury.
A spinal injury can also result from putting too much weight on the spine. Therefore, pay attention to the signals your body sends you while working out or playing sports to avoid an SCI.
The cushioning discs between the vertebrae in your spine can wear out as you get older. While it is not usually a concern, some people have a faster wear rate than others. Degenerative disc disease results from this accelerated wear rate, which can cause severe back pain.
Diseases, Infections, and Other Indirect Causes
Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries can also result from cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and spinal cord inflammation. Infections and even prolonged use of alcohol can also be risk factors.
Recurring injuries are a critical worry. If you damage your spine and don’t notice the injury, you will likely go about your business as usual, potentially exacerbating the problem. Therefore, it is essential to get medical attention as quickly as possible if you suffer a spinal cord injury, no matter how minor.
Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Several telltale symptoms indicate a significant spinal cord injury. These signs include:
- An excruciating backache
- Tingling or numbness in your limbs
- Paralysis or weakness anywhere on your body
- Pressure in your head, neck, or back
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty with balance or walking
- Unusual or uncomfortable positioning of the back or neck
- Loss of bowel control
If you fear your loved one has suffered injuries to their spinal cord, you should seek medical attention right away. A doctor’s evaluation may prevent long-term damage. However, it is crucial to remember that not all symptoms occur immediately, so seek medical help whenever you can.
Contact our personal injury lawyers today
Loncar Lyon Jenkins Can Help After a Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury lawyer can help you find appropriate medical help right after injuring your back in an accident. In addition, if someone else’s negligence led to your injury, our firm could help you recover compensation for your damages and losses.
Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins today for a free consultation to learn more about your accident and how a personal injury lawyer can help.