A report published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center shows that almost 18,000 cases of spinal cord injuries happen throughout the United States every single year. The report also states that the most common cause of spinal cord injuries is car accidents. If you were recently involved in a car accident and have experienced numbness, tingling, or pain, you might have sustained a spinal cord injury.
A spinal cord injury is a serious condition that is the result of a powerful and sudden blow to the spine. Your spine is made up of a network of nerves that send signals between your brain and the other parts of your body that control sensations and muscle movement.
Spinal cord injuries vary from minor to catastrophic and fall under one of two categories: non-traumatic and traumatic. Non-traumatic injuries evolve slowly over time and are caused by normal wear and tear on your spine’s muscles, joints, or discs. Traumatic injuries occur unexpectedly, often due to violence or accidents.
If you sustained a spinal cord injury due to negligence, call the New Mexico personal injury lawyers at Ferguson Law today at (505) 594-3712 and schedule your free consultation.
The spinal cord is a column of cells and nerves that extend from the lower back all the way up to the lower part of the brain. This column is surrounded by three very thin layers of protective tissue known as membranes. The membranes and spinal cord are enclosed by the vertebrae. The nerve fibers are comprised of long, thin cells that bundle together and act as extensions of the nervous system. These bundles create their own nerve fibers and create a peripheral nerve which works together to transport signals between the body and the brain.
A spinal cord injury happens when this tight grouping of nerves and cells is damaged and the signals they once carried can no longer be sent or received.
A spinal cord injury can result from damage to the vertebrae and tissue that surround the spinal cord, or a direct injury to the spinal cord itself. An injury to the spinal cord could lead to either permanent or temporary changes in or loss of strength, movement, sensation, and bodily functions below the point of injury.
Spinal cord injuries generally occur through one of three mechanisms:
After car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents are another main cause of spinal cord injuries. This is especially true for senior citizens who need mobility devices to improve their stability and often suffer from osteoporosis.
Spinal cord injuries caused by car accidents are usually the result of nerve damage, which disrupts the messages relayed between the brain and other areas of the body. Common symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries are:
Paralysis can occur when an impact causes a person’s neck to bend too far in any one direction. This strains the delicate membranes that act as a buffer for the area where the spinal cord and the brain meet.
An impact can also cause whiplash, which can damage the cervical spine and result in injury to nerves in various parts of the body. Damage to structures in this area, like blood vessels, discs, or vertebrae can also cause a spinal cord injury.
Depending on how serious your spinal cord injury is, complications could arise. Symptoms that can manifest after the initial injury are:
Immediate treatment should be given at the scene of the accident. This includes placing the victim on a backboard with a collar around their neck in order to prevent any additional harm. Once at the hospital, treatment might involve realigning the victim’s spine or an operation to retrieve any shards of bone or other objects that may be pressing on the spinal cord.
When a person sustains a spinal cord injury, the affected area has to fully heal before any physical therapy can begin. Physical therapy will help the muscles stretch as well as improve blood flow to the damaged area of the spine.
In some instances, physicians prescribe medications to help patients manage chronic pain, bladder control, depression, and spasms from their injury.
A spinal cord injury is a serious condition that can lead to pain, paralysis, loss of bodily functions, tingling, and numbness. The symptoms vary from person to person based on the degree of their injury.
Spinal cord damage is not always immediately obvious, so it is essential to be able to recognize the potential signs and seek medical attention right away. Luckily, there are some treatments available for victims which are tailored to their individual needs.
Treatment for spinal cord injuries is both costly and time-consuming. At Ferguson Law, we have years of experience successfully representing personal injury accident victims who sustained an injury to their spinal cord. If someone else’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury, speak with a New Mexico personal injury lawyer today by calling (505) 243-5566 to find out how we can help you.
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