A Brief Overview of Spinal Injuries

It's estimated that somewhere around 12,500 spinal cord injuries happen every single year in the US. A spinal cord injury is not an easy injury to deal with by any means. Most people need to adjust to an entirely new way of living and will probably need medical care for the rest of their lives.

The 4 Regions of a Spinal Column

The effects of a spinal cord injury will usually depend on the location of the injury.

The Cervical Spinal Region: This region connects the neck to the back, and enables communication between your brain and the rest of your body. The vertebrae that are in this area are often referred to as C1 to C8.

The Thoracic Region: This is the middle part of the spinal cord. Injuries in this region are referred to as T1 to T12.

The Lumbar Region: This cord region is located in the lower part of the spine. If you were to place your hand on your lower back right now and bend forward you would feel your lumbar region. This vertebrae within this region are often referred to as L1 to L5.

The Sacral Region: Unlike other parts of the spine, the sacral region doesn't contain vertebrae. Instead, it's made up of different nerves.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries usually result in one of the following 3 conditions:

  1. Tetraplegia: This is by far the most serious type of a spinal injury and is a result of significant damage to the spinal cord. Individuals with tetraplegia experience paralysis of varying degrees in ALL limbs. If this term is not familiar to you, you should know it's also referred to as quadriplegia.
  2. Paraplegia: This primarily affects the lower part of the body, such as the legs. When this type of a spinal injury happens, it's usually because the thoracic spinal cord was damaged.
  3. Triplegia: This type of spinal injury deals with the loss of sensation in either one of the arms or both of the legs.

If you've had a spinal injury below the lumbar region, this usually doesn't create paralysis. However, you can experience severe pain. You may also experience one of the following common symptoms:

Symptoms of Spinal Injury

  • Various degrees of paralysis
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Problems with bladder or bowel control
  • Headaches
  • Change in mood
  • Depression
  • Infections
  • Nerve pain
  • Muscle pain

If you've been involved in an accident and have sustained a spinal injury, contact Sloat Law for more information or a for a free case review.