Have you recently suffered a head or neck injury? Are you worried you may have a spinal cord injury? Do you know what injury symptoms to look for after an accident? Here we will go over spinal cord injuries and injury symptoms. We will also discuss spinal cord injury causes and tips to prevent spinal cord injuries.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is an injury that damages the spinal cord. It results in temporary or permanent changes in the spinal cord’s normal motor, sensory, or autonomic function. People who sustain a spinal cord injury often have permanent and profound neurological deficits and accompanying disability (United Spinal Association).
The spinal cord is divided into three sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. Each section protects different groups of nerves that control the body. The type and severity of spinal cord injury depends on which section of the spine is injured.
- The cervical spine is the top section of the spine and includes seven cervical vertebrae. Cervical spine injuries affect the head and neck. Cervical spine injuries can have the most severe results including total paralysis, loss of body functions, quadriplegia, or paraplegia.
- The thoracic spine is the upper and middle part of the back. Thoracic spine injuries affect the upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscles.
- The lumbar spine is the lowest major portion of the spinal cord. The lumbar spine carries the most weight of any of the sections of the spine. Lumbar spine injuries affect the hips and legs.
There are two types of spinal cord injuries – complete and incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury causes permanent damage to the affected area of the spinal cord.
Complete spinal cord injuries result in:
- paralysis of the legs and lower body (paraplegia) or
- paralysis of all four limbs and the torso (quadriplegia).
An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to partial damage to the spinal cord. The ability to move and the amount of feeling depends on the area of the spine injured and the severity of the injury. The patient’s health and medical history can also determine outcomes (Shepherd Center).
If you’ve been the victim of an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury, you need expert legal representation. Anthem Injury Lawyers has represented people just like you who didn’t know where to turn with their Las Vegas personal injury cases. Call us today at (702) 857-6000 for your free initial consultation. Don’t wait – your quality of life now and in the future depends on receiving the compensation that is rightly due to you. Anthem Injury Lawyers’ expert personal injury attorneys can help! Call (702) 857-6000 now.
What are Spinal Cord Injury Signs or Symptoms?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal cord injury of any kind may result in one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
- Loss of movement.
- An altered or lost sensation includes the ability to feel heat, cold and touch.
- Loss of bowel or bladder control.
- Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms.
- Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity and fertility.
- Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord.
- Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs.
Emergency signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury after an accident may include:
- Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head or back.
- Weakness, incoordination or paralysis in any part of your body.
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes.
- Loss of bladder or bowel control.
- Difficulty with balance and walking.
- Impaired breathing after injury.
- An odd positioned or twisted neck or back.
What to Do If You Suspect a Spinal Cord Injury?
If you suffer from a head or neck injury or suspect a spinal cord injury, get medical care immediately.
- Call 911.
- Do not move — permanent paralysis and other serious complications may result.
- Keep still.
- Keep calm.
- Others may prevent your head or neck from moving by placing heavy towels on both sides of the neck.
- Others may also provide basic first aid, without moving the head or neck.
If you or a loved one is injured, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Once you have gotten the necessary medical care, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney for legal advice about your case.
Anthem Injury Lawyers are experienced in dealing with both spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
With our extensive experience representing clients in the Las Vegas area, we’ve been able to gain compensation for accident victims suffering from spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. If you or someone you love has been the victim in an accident in Las Vegas or vicinity, call us today: (702) 857-6000. Don’t wait – get our experienced personal injury attorneys working for you now. Get your free initial consultation by calling (702) 857-6000.
What are Spinal Cord Injury Causes?
There are approximately 17,000 new spinal cord injuries in the United States each year. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury, followed by falls, acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds), and sports/recreation activities (United Spinal Association).
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States are:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Auto and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for almost half of the new spinal cord injuries each year.
- Falls. A spinal cord injury after age 65 is most often caused by a fall. Falls cause about 31 percent of spinal cord injuries.
- Acts of violence. Over 13 percent of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters, most common are gunshot wounds. Knife wounds also are common.
- Sports and recreation injuries. Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, cause about 10 percent of spinal cord injuries.
- Alcohol. Alcohol use is a factor in about 1 out of every 4 spinal cord injuries (Mayo Clinic).
Spinal Cord Injury Prevention
Spinal cord injuries are difficult for all involved. We understand that not all accidents can be avoided. However, simple safety precautions may help you and your loved ones avoid a spinal cord injury.
Here are some safety tips to avoid some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Practice safe driving.
- Do not text or talk on the phone while driving.
- Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car.
- Make sure that children wear a seat belt or use an age- and weight-appropriate child safety seat.
- Never drink and drive.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Wear body armor and boots.
- Observe the rules of the road.
- Do not ride in dangerous or wet conditions.
- Add handrails along stairways, the shower, and toilet.
- Do not reach for objects in high places. Use a step stool with a grab bar or ask for assistance.
- Remove loose rugs or carpet.
- Put nonslip mats in the tub and shower.
- Older adults should participate in fall prevention classes focused on body strength, increased flexibility, and improved balance.
- Use safety gates around stairs and windows to prevent young children from falls.
- Avoid walking in areas that are uneven, icy or wet.
Acts of Violence
- Contact law enforcement immediately if you feel threatened.
- Practice proper gun safety.
- Lock up all weapons.
- Take a self-defense course to learn to better protect yourself from acts of violence.
Sports and Recreation
- Always wear recommended safety gear.
- Ensure the helmet’s proper fit.
- Before participating in a new activity, ask for a safety overview.
- In sports, do not lead with your head. Do not slide headfirst in baseball. Do not tackle with the top of your helmet in football.
- Keep your body inside recreational vehicles.
- Use a spotter in gymnastics. Only participate in gymnastics in a gymnastic facility and under the instruction of a trained coach.
- Do not drink or use drugs while engaged in recreation activities.
- Check water depth before diving.
- Do not dive into shallow water. Water should be 12 feet or deeper for diving.
- Do not dive into an above ground pool.
- Do not dive into any water with an unknown depth.
Experienced Las Vegas Spinal Cord Lawyers
At Anthem Injury Lawyers, we will fight for you to get the medical treatments and compensation that you deserve. Contact us today at (702) 857-6000 for a free consultation.