Did you know that every year, about 12,000 people sustain a spinal cord injury? That breaks down to about 30 new injuries every single day. The majority of people who have a spinal cord injury suffered in a sports accident, an industrial mishap, a fall, or a car accident. What many people don’t know about spinal cord injuries is that the bulk of these incidents happens to people under the age of 30, and that men are much more likely to sustain an injury than women.

A spinal cord injury refers to damage to the spinal cord itself which causes a loss of function. The loss of function might include mobility, feeling, or both. One common misconception about spinal cord injuries is that a serious injury only happens when the spinal cord is severed. In reality, most people who have sustained a spinal cord injury have an intact spinal cord, but the damage is so severe that functions are lost. Another common misconception about these injuries is that they are similar to other back problems like pinched nerves, ruptured disks, or spinal stenosis. Spinal cord injuries can be very complicated to treat medically, and they require the insight of an experienced and highly-trained healthcare professional.

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

There are several symptoms that can clue you in to an existing spinal cord injury. All should be taken seriously and reported to a physician if you suspect that you may have severe damage. Catching these symptoms early may help you get the treatment you need as quickly as possible.

The following signs may indicate a serious spinal cord injury:

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of movement
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain or a stinging sensation

If you are near someone who you believe may have suffered a spinal cord injury in the immediate past, being able to identify these symptoms and report them to paramedics or healthcare professionals could be crucial for their recovery. These include:

  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe back, head, or neck pain
  • Numbness in the hands, feet, or toes
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

Impacts of a Spinal Cord Injury

The impact of a spinal cord injury largely depends on two separate factors: where the injury occurred along the spinal cord and how severe the injury was. Based on your injury, doctors may determine that your injury fits the definition for one of two breakdowns related to the lowest part of your spinal cord: complete or incomplete.

In a complete injury related to the neurological level of the injury itself, all feeling and movement control ability is lost. In an incomplete injury, you might still have some sensory function or motor function. Along with the symptoms associated with a spinal cord injury in the short and long term, patients might also experience spasticity, scoliosis, respiratory problems, or urinary tract infections.

Why Do I Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?

If you or someone you know has sustained a serious spinal cord injury as a result of an accident, it’s critical to get medical attention as soon as possible. Many patients who suffer from spinal cord injuries may experience a lot of pain and discomfort as they attempt to heal. There can be lifelong repercussions from a serious spinal cord injury that keep a patient from being able to work or enjoy normal activities ever again.

A patient who has suffered will likely need years of therapy and rehabilitation to help cope with the symptoms linked to the injury. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s imperative to schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney sooner rather than later. A successful spinal cord injury case could help you get the medical care necessary to recover from or cope with the outcome of your injury and allow you to move forward into the future without the added stress and anxiety related to your injury. A San Francisco spinal cord injury can alter your life dramatically, and you should protect your future be investigating your options to file a spinal cord injury claim to recover the damages to which you may be entitled.


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