A spinal cord injury (“SCI”) can happen in any type of accident, and since these injuries affect one of the most important structures in the nervous system, an injury can often have catastrophic repercussions such as paralysis or nerve damage.
All spinal cord injuries should be immediately addressed by your doctor.
Some spinal cord injuries can have a temporary impact on your body. For example, the effects of a whiplash injury may last just two to four weeks before subsiding. However, other spinal cord injuries can cause permanent damage.
The Barnes Firm has represented thousands of accident victims with spinal cord injuries. Some of these injuries include:
- Cervical disc herniations
- Lumbar disc herniations
- Disc replacement
- Fusion surgeries
After suffering a spinal cord injury, it’s important to speak with a doctor. The next step is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help guide you and your family through the process of pursuing an injury claim. Call The Barnes Firm anytime at 1-800-800-0000 or contact us for a FREE case evaluation.
Common Spinal Surgeries
Those who have suffered a spinal injury can undergo a number of different surgical procedures to help correct the injury. Our attorneys have dedicated a section of our website to discussing these surgeries in-depth.
Your spine is made of 33 individual bones called “vertebrae.” When these bones break due to a severe trauma, it’s called a compression fracture, because vertebrae require a very strong force, or compression, in order to break.
Compression fracture injuries can be very serious, and they can impact the nervous tissue that helps send signals to the brain.
These fractures can also cause other injuries, including:
- Ligament damage
- Nerve root damage
- Spinal cord damage
In extreme situations, spinal cord injuries can cause the loss of feeling or motion in the extremities, including the arms, hands, and legs.
The most common treatments for compression fractures include:
- Pain medications
- Decreasing activity
- Neck braces
Paralysis from Spinal Injuries
When a person’s nervous system is impacted by an injury or illness, it can sometimes cause paralysis, which is the inability to move or feel. In some instances, paralysis may only affect an individual muscle, but it usually impacts an entire region of the body.
Thoracic Spinal Injuries
The thoracic spine refers to the upper and middle back. There are 12 vertebrae in this area, and these bones are built for stability, since they connect to the ribs and stabilize the torso.
Accidents are the most common cause of upper back injuries, but these injuries can also stem from strained muscles or poor posture over time.
Compression fractures most often impact the bottom part of the thoracic spine (T11 and T12) and the first vertebra of the lumbar spine (L1). Injuries in this thoracic region can impact feeling in the chest and legs. This can also result in paralysis.
Cervical Spine Injuries
The cervical spine is basically your neck. Any injuries here can cause serious problems, since almost all of your nerves have to pass through this region.
Back Injuries & the Lumbar Spine
Just five bones make up the lumbar spine in the lower back (some people can have six vertebrae here). Injuries to the lumbar spine are common, usually resulting from accidents including:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Workplace injuries (construction accidents)
The most serious injuries to the lumbar spine are spinal fractures or disc herniations. These can usually be treated without surgery, but if your spine isn’t stable, or if there’s nerve damage, surgery may become a necessity.
Typical surgeries in this region of the back are meant to relieve pressure from the nerves and provide stability to the lower back. A fusion surgery is one of the most common procedures for the lumbar spine. This procedure places screws and rods in certain vertebrae to hold a patient’s back together.
Whiplash is the most common neck injury after a car accident and is caused by the jolt of impact, which causes the neck to snap and overextend.
Spinal Cord Q&A
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury, we understand how much uncertainty and how many questions can arise. We’ve provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions here.
If your questions still aren’t answered, feel free to call our attorneys any time: The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000.