Spinal Cord Injuries: What You Need to Know

The spinal cord plays a vital role in how the human body functions. It follows that any damage to this bundle of nerve tissues and support cells critical to the body’s central nervous system is a serious cause for alarm. Such an injury is sure to leave profound consequences that are sure to affect a person’s basic bodily functions, particularly causing issue to one’s motor, sensory, and automatic abilities.

According to the National SCI Statistical Center, roughly 276,000 people are currently living with a spinal cord injury or SCI in the United States. The average age for SCI patients since the year 2010 is at 42, and most of these patients are men. For majority of these patients, their spinal cord injury came as a result of having been involved in a devastating accident. Common causes of such an injury include car wrecks, slip and fall accidents, physical assault and other acts of violence, as well as accidents that occur while participating in contact sports.

An injury to the spinal cord is sure to cause some form of disability that may be temporary or permanent. In any case, patients that have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury are sure to find their basic bodily functions and ability severely compromised. Paralysis is also a great concern. The Law Offices of Mazin & Associates notes on its website that severe damage to the spinal cord can lead to either paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Paraplegia refers to partial paralysis, where a patient loses function and control of the lower extremities. This happens when the lower part of a patient’s spinal cord is damaged. Meanwhile, quadriplegia refers to total paralysis, where a patient loses function and control of their torso and both upper and lower extremities. This is due to the fact that the area of damage is much higher up in the spinal cord, affecting a significant portion of the nerves and tissues vital for movement and control.

The consequences of spinal cord injuries move beyond physical control and abilities, as well. A lot of SCI patients also suffer from emotional and psychological trauma. On top of these issues, they also have to deal with the financial burden caused by their condition.

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