Traumatic spinal cord injuries are among the most serious a person can sustain. In the U.S., roughly 12,000 new traumatic spinal cord injuries are diagnosed every year, not including those from people who die on the scene of the accident.
What Is A Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury?
Injuries to the spinal cord take place when there is damage to the ligaments, vertebrae, or disks of the spinal column or on the spinal cord. While nontraumatic spinal cord injuries can be caused by arthritis, cancer, or infection, traumatic spinal cord injuries are brought on by a sudden, a forceful blow to the spine, consequently fracturing, crushing, dislocating, or compressing the vertebrae.
Traumatic spinal cord injuries may either be complete or incomplete, leading to full or partial paralysis and loss of both motor and sensory functions. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of traumatic spinal cord injury, accounting for over 35 percent of new cases. Other causes of traumatic spinal injury include:
- Slip and fall accidents – Roughly 25 percent of new cases are from slip and falls. Typically spinal cord injuries from fall accidents are most common among people over the age of 62.
- Violence – Traumatic spinal cord injuries may also be sustained from certain acts of violence including gunshot and knife wounds. These make up almost 15 percent of new cases according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
- Sport/Recreation Accidents – People may sustain an injury during athletic activities, including impact sports and diving. They account for roughly 9 percent of cases.
Alcohol also factors into spinal cord injuries and roughly 1 in 4 new spinal cord injury cases involve alcohol in some way.
Symptoms Of Traumatic Spinal Injury
Spinal cord injuries may manifest immediately or develop within a few hours of the accident. Since reducing the severity of spinal cord injuries is heavily dependent on getting treatment early, anyone who receives head or neck trauma should see a doctor as soon as possible for evaluation.
Signs and symptoms of traumatic spinal injury include, but are are not limited to:
- Loss of motor and sensory functions
- Loss of bladder control
- Extreme pain/pressure in the back, neck, or head
- Issues with coordination or paralysis of any body part
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in extremities
- Difficulty breathing after an injury
- Having the neck or back in an oddly twisted position
Unfortunately, there is no medical treatment that will completely heal or reverse a traumatic spinal cord injury. When stabilizing the injury, medical professionals may turn to surgery, medications, and immobilization. Afterwards, most treatment plans are based on relieving pain and helping victims adjust to their new limitations.
Filing A Lawsuit?
Traumatic spinal cord injuries mean adjusting to limitations for victims and their families. Medical treatment and lifestyle changes are extremely expensive and the mental health issues can be even more taxing. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury in Cobb County, Georgia, Williams Elleby is here to help. Our legal team has years of experience helping victims recover damages for their injuries. Let us do the same for you.