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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Friday, October 26, 2018

Will I Ever Walk Again? The Truth About Treating Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most traumatic injuries a person can sustain in an accident. An injury to the spinal cord can result from a fall, motor vehicle accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, sports injuries, assault, or accidents involving defective products. When a spinal cord injury is caused because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, the victim may want to contact a Texas spinal cord injury attorney to discuss options for filing a legal claim for damages.

A victim may be partially or completely paralyzed depending on the severity and location of the spinal cord injury. In extreme cases, a victim may require ongoing personal care and medical care for the remainder of his or her life. Therefore, the costs of a spinal cord injury can be considerable. For that reason, many spinal cord injury victims work with an experienced Texas spinal cord injury attorney to recover as much compensation as possible for their claim.

How Injuries to the Spinal Cord Impact Other Areas of the Body?

One of the myths about a spinal cord injury (SCI) is that the spinal cord must be severed to cause traumatic injury. When the spinal cord is injured, secondary events may result in additional damage. For instance, if you receive a strong blow to your back during a fall, the initial blunt force trauma may damage or kill spinal nerve cells. However, in the hours and days following the initial trauma, secondary events such as loss of oxygen, infections, swelling, blood clots, and the release of toxic chemicals in the spinal cord could result in further damage to the spinal cord.

The spinal cord works with the brain to transmit signals throughout the body to control all bodily functions. Damage to any section of the spinal cord or the neurons and axons that carry signals to and from the brain can impair various bodily functions. Understanding how the spinal cord functions and the impact of various spinal cord injuries can be difficult to explain in a short article.

However, we can review the areas of the spinal cord to help us understand the types of damage that may occur when a specific area of the cord is injured.

  • Cervical Spinal Nerves are the nerves that are closest to the brain. These nerves control signals to and from the back of the head, shoulders, neck, arms, hands, and diaphragm.
  • Thoracic Spinal Nerves are located in the upper mid-back. These nerves control signals to and from chest muscles, some back muscles, and several organ systems, including areas of the abdomen.
  • Lumbar Spinal Nerves are in the lower back. They control the signals to and from the buttocks, the lower parts of the back and abdomen, parts of the leg, and some of the external genital organs.
  • Sacral Spinal Nerves are in the lower portion of the spinal cord. They control the signals to and from the lower parts of the legs and things, the feet, and most of the external genital organs and anus.

Will I Ever Walk Again if My Spinal Cord is Injured?

Whether you will walk again after a spinal cord injury depends on numerous factors. The location of the SCI and the severity of the SCI determine whether you suffer a complete injury or an incomplete injury.

With a complete injury, all communication between the brain and the parts of the body below the injury are severed. A complete injury results in loss of all motor functions and sensory functions in the areas controlled by the spinal cord below the injury.

An incomplete injury means that some sensory function and motor functions remain. The brain has not lost all ability to communicate with the areas of the body impacted by the injury. Victims who suffer incomplete injuries have a better chance of walking and regaining some or all functions.

Early Treatment is Essential

We cannot repair damage to the spinal cord. However, research is helping physicians develop better treatments that give victims more hope of recovering from an SCI. If you notice any symptoms of a spinal cord injury after an accident or blow to the back, go to the emergency room immediately.

You can read detailed information about spinal cord injuries on the website for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Contact a Texas Spinal Cord Injury Attorney for Help

If another person or party was responsible for the injury to your spinal cord, schedule a consult with the Texas traumatic brain injury lawyers at The Tony Law Firm today to discuss your options for filing an injury claim.

 


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