Determined and Relentless Representation

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries and Treatment after Car Accidents

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries and Treatment after Car Accidents

Spinal cord injuries are a life-changing neurological condition with significant socioeconomic impacts on the patient and their loved ones. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury, followed by falls. These injuries can cause long-term disability and increase the risk of other conditions and illnesses. As a result, car accident victims who experience spinal cord injuries often face lengthy hospital stays, costly rehabilitation services, and ongoing treatment.

Those who have suffered a spinal cord injury from a car accident should consult an experienced Arkansas personal injury attorney. Our firm’s spinal cord injury lawyers have an extensive history of securing favorable outcomes for our clients and their families. Contact the Law Office of Jason Hatfield at 479-361-3575 to schedule a free initial consultation with a spinal cord injury attorney on our team.

Purpose of Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is a column of nerve tissue that runs from the lower part of the brain down the center of the back through the lower back. It is a delicate structure that contains nerve bundles and cells that carry messages from one’s brain to the rest of the body. There are three main parts to the spinal cord:

  • Cervical
  • Thoracic
  • Lumbar

The spinal cord’s primary purpose is to carry nerve signals throughout the body. The primary function of the spinal cord is the following:

  • Control body movements
  • Report senses
  • Manage reflexes

Injury to the spinal cord can cause severe symptoms in the parts of the body below the injury.

Cause and Types of Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury typically results from a sudden, traumatic impact on the spine that fractures or damages the vertebrae. Studies indicate that nearly 90% of spinal cord injury cases result from auto accidents, falls, gunshot wounds, and motorcycle accidents. Generally, healthcare providers classify spinal cord injuries as either complete or incomplete.

Complete Spinal Cord Injury

A complete spinal cord injury causes permanent damage to the area of the spinal cord that experienced the trauma. In these cases, all ability to control movement is lost below the spinal cord injury.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

Incomplete spinal cord injury refers to cases where the person experiences partial damage to their spinal cord. In these cases, the spinal cord can still transmit some messages to and from the brain.

Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, patients may experience the following:

  • Paraplegia: impairment of the sensory or motor function in the lower extremities.
  • Tetraplegia: partial or total sensory or motor function loss in all four limbs.

Individuals should receive prompt treatment following a car accident to ensure appropriate treatment.

Common Spinal Injuries and Symptoms from Car Accidents

There are four sections to the spinal cord, each controlling different nerves in the body. Injuries and symptoms of a spinal cord injury largely depend on the impact area.

Cervical Spinal Injuries

Injury to the cervical spine often occurs when a driver or passenger experiences a sudden jolt or trauma to their head or neck. These often lead to injuries such as the following:

Cervical injuries often cause neck pain, radiating pain, dizziness, and headache.

Thoracic Spinal Injuries

The impact from a rear-end or another collision may cause injuries to one’s upper and middle back. These injuries often cause radiating pain, weakness or tingling in the legs and genitals, and the inability to control urine or stool.

Lumbar Spinal Injuries

Lumbar spine injuries occur when a motorist or passenger suffers damage to their lower back. Depending on the location of the trauma, the victim might experience muscle weakness, difficulty bending limbs, spinal stenosis, and other pain.

Sacral Spinal Injuries

High-speed car accidents can cause significant damage to one’s sacral spine and the organs near the pelvis. Victims may lose some function in their hips and legs and experience bladder or bowel control issues.

In some cases, the full extent of one’s injuries does not manifest until after the collision. Thus, individuals in a car accident should be aware of the symptoms associated with spinal cord damage to ensure they do not exacerbate their pain or delay treatment.

Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries

The course of care a spinal cord injury victim must receive depends on several factors, such as the severity of trauma and the victim’s overall health. Some medical tests to diagnose a spinal cord injury include the following:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging,
  • Computerizes tomography, and
  • X-rays.

Car accident victims who suffer spinal cord damage might require acute care, rehabilitation, and life-long care for secondary medical complications.

Have You Suffered a Spine Injury in the Wake of an Arkansas Car Accident?

If you were recently involved in a car accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, it is important that you meet with an attorney to discuss your rights. A spinal cord injury will impact the rest of your life, and the financial burden of your medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages shouldn’t rest on you.

At the Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield, we proudly represent car accident victims, helping them recover fair compensation for what they’ve been through—and what they will continue to go through. We take each of our client’s cases personally, aggressively advocating on your behalf at every stage of the process.

To learn more about how we can help you bring a legal claim against the driver responsible for your injuries, give us a call at 479-361-3575 to schedule a free consultation. You can also reach us through our online contact form.


Free Consultation

Get Started On Your
Free Consultation Now

Law Office of Jason M. Hatfield P.A. Logo