What Happens if You Get a Spinal Cord Injury?

Many injuries can result from a bad car accident or a slip-and-fall. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the extent of your injuries unless you meet with a medical professional. Because of this, some injuries can go unnoticed for a significant amount of time. But if one of your injuries from an accident is to your spinal cord, this can have serious consequences.

If a spinal cord injury (SCI) goes untreated, it can cause a great deal of harm in the long run. The more time that passes between the occurrence of the injury and its treatment, the more serious the damage may become. If internal bleeding or swelling is unnoticed for a significant amount of time, treatment and recovery may be significantly more difficult. So, how do you know if you have a spinal cord injury (SCI), and what can result from that injury?

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you may have a SCI and should seek medical help.

  • Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head or back
  • Weakness, incoordination or paralysis in any part of your body
  • Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty with balance and walking
  • Impaired breathing after injury
  • An oddly positioned or twisted neck or back
  • Loss of movement
  • Loss or altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs

Source: Mayo Clinic

Potential Long-Term Effects

The long-term impact of a SCI depends on both the location and severity of the injury. Many people fully recover and lead their lives as normally as before the accident. Others, unfortunately, experience life-altering consequences.

According to Shepherd Center, a private hospital that specializes in spinal cord injury, here are some of the potential effects of a spinal cord injury:

  • Quadriplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Requiring a ventilator to breathe
  • Ability to move shoulders and biceps, but not the wrist of hand
  • Dysfunction of the bowels and bladder

Other, less severe results of a spinal cord injury can include increased likelihood of bladder infections, kidney stones, persistent lower back pain, osteoporosis, and weakened arms and legs. 

What Do I Do?

This information can be overwhelming, and even a little bit frightening. Spinal cord injuries are very serious and should be addressed as soon as possible. If you suspect you or someone else involved in an  accident may have a spinal cord injury, consult with a medical professional as soon as possible.

If the injury is confirmed, reach out to us. As a victim of an accident, you should not bear the financial burden of treatment. As we mentioned above, the long-term effects can be serious.

It’s important for both you, your legal team, and the other party to understand the extent of a spinal cord injury. This way, you can get the justice and compensation you deserve to make up for this potentially life-altering injury. We’ve helped multiple victims get justice, and you could be one of them.

  
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