Up to 450,000 Americans live with spinal cord injuries. The leading causes of spinal cord injury (SCI) vary by age. Among persons under age 65, automobile and other motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause. For people over 65, falls cause most SCIs. Other causes include:
- Workplace accidents
- Diving accidents
- Electric shock
- Bullet or stab wounds
- Extreme twisting of the trunk
- Sports injuries (landing on head)
Spinal injury at the neck level may impair a person's breathing and paralyze arms, legs and trunk (quadriplegia). Injury lower in the spine may cause weakness and loss of movement or feeling only in the legs and lower parts of the body (paraplegia). A severed spinal cord cannot be repaired. In less severe cases, recovery depends on the extent of the damage.
Symptoms of spinal cord damage may include weakness, poor coordination, paralysis, numbness, tingling, loss of bowel or bladder control and pain. Any trauma that pulls, compresses, pushes or cuts your spinal cord may cause spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries can also be caused by blood clots, abscesses, tumors, polio, spina bifida or inherited disorders.
Effects Of A Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and life-altering. Severe SCI often causes paralysis (loss of control over voluntary movement and muscles of the body) and loss of sensation and reflex function below the point of injury, including autonomic activity such as breathing and other activities such as bowel and bladder control. Other symptoms such as pain or sensitivity to stimuli, muscle spasms and sexual dysfunction may develop over time. SCI patients are also prone to develop secondary medical problems such as bladder infections, lung infections and bedsores.
At Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, we have extensive experience with all types of cases in Michigan involving spine and spinal cord injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a spine or spinal cord injury due to an accident, medical error, mistake or malpractice, contact one of our lawyers to determine if there is a potential case for monetary compensation. Schedule a free consultation with a skilled attorney today. Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, can be reached by phone at 734-545-8421 or 866-822-8237 or through our convenient online contact form.