The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that begins at the base of the brain. Its surrounded by the spinal column, and it extends about 19 inches downward at about the L1-L2 vertebral level. It transmits electrical signals from the brain to nerves that are connected to the entire body. A spinal cord injury involves trauma that fractures or dislocates the vertebrae. Pressure or bone fragments tear the spinal cord. That tearing interrupts the brain’s signals to and from the body’s nerves and muscles.
It transmits and receives
Because the spinal cord operates as a two-way street, a spinal cord injury can also prevent sensory information from reaching the brain. Motor vehicle crashes, falls and sports injuries account for more than 60 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete or incomplete. A person who suffers a complete spinal cord injury suffers a total loss of sensation and muscular function below the level of the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury involves at least some function below the level of the injury. A few common emergency symptoms of a spinal cord injury present themselves as:
—Stinging pain or pressure in the neck or back
—Paralysis of part of the body
—Difficulty walking or the inability to walk
—Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
The spinal cord can’t heal itself, so treatment options for injuries are limited. To reduce swelling and inflammation, the victim might be started on a high dose of steroids. For purposes of stabilizing the spine and removing any bone fragments, surgery is likely. After surgery, long courses of physical therapy and rehabilitation will be needed.
Since most spinal cord injuries are debilitating, expect medical bills to be staggering. A San Diego spinal cord injury lawyer can be invaluable in obtaining compensation, medical and disability benefits for the victim and enhancing the chances of reaching maximum medical improvement.
Call Mova Legal if you need a San Diego Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer for a consultation.