Spinal cord damage is the most common cause of paralysis, and is usually the result of injuries sustained in car accidents, sports-related injuries and slip and fall accidents.
Medical malpractice can also cause paralysis. Although rare, operating errors during back surgery, inexperienced physicians and anesthesia mistakes can permanently damage the spine or other areas of the nervous system.
Types of Paralysis
An injury or even a disease can permanently impact a person’s nervous system, which affects their ability to move or feel. The most common types of paralysis include:
- Monoplegia – this impacts only one limb
- Diplegia – this can affect both sides of the body (for example, both arms or both sides of the face). Diplegia is usually indicative of brain damage, such as cerebral palsy
- Hemiplegia – this affects an entire side of the body. Hemiplegia almost always connected to brain damage on the opposite side of the paralysis. Stroke is a common cause of hemiplegia
- Paraplegia – this can impact both legs and the body. Paraplegia is often connected with lower spinal cord injuries
- Quadriplegia – this will impact all four limbs and the body. Quadriplegia happens when an accident or disease damages the upper spinal cord
Causes of Paralysis
Damages in the brain, spinal cord or nerves outside the spinal cord cause paralysis. The most common causes of brain damage include:
- Trauma (car crash, fall, blow to the head, etc.)
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
Spinal cord damage is most often caused by accidents, but other conditions can also affect the spinal cord. Aside from accidents the most common causes of spinal cord damage include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine
- Herniated disk
- Multiple sclerosis
- Surgical Intervention
The only treatment for paralysis is by rehabilitation. This can include:
- Physical therapy – This can re-train a patient’s muscles. In some cases, a patient’s nerves can regrow, and physical therapy will used to retrain the paralyzed area.
- Occupational therapy – This type of therapy focuses on every-day activities, like eating and bathing. Occupational therapy can modify a patient’s home and workplace, so that an impaired patient can complete these regular tasks with little assistance.
- Other specialties – Some patients may require a respiratory therapist, nutritionist, special education teacher, speech-language coach, recreation therapist, or clinical psychologist.
If you or a loved one has suffered a paralyzing injury due to the negligence of another, call The Barnes Firm or contact us online for a FREE consultation.
The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000