Severe Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord is a key part of your central nervous system. This bundle of nerve fibers runs the length of the spine, connecting the brain to all other areas of the body through an extensive system of nerves. It is the part of the body responsible for relaying messages from the brain to other areas of the body, and between separate areas of the body.
When the spinal cord is injured, this critical messaging system is inhibited. When the spinal cord is severed, the victim can suffer permanent paralysis and loss of sensation in specific areas of the body. A spinal cord injury is a severe type of injury that can render a victim unable to walk or work ever again. In some cases, spinal cord injuries are fatal.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries fall into two categories: incomplete spinal cord injuries and complete spinal cord injuries.
Incomplete spinal cord injuries occur when the cord’s nerves are only partially severed. Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim can lose some function in his or her body. In contrast, a complete spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord is totally severed, eliminating all function below the injured area. With this type of injury, it can be possible to regain some function through prompt treatment and physical therapy.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
Sometimes, it is not immediately obvious that the victim suffered a spinal cord injury. Symptoms of a relatively minor spinal cord injury include:
- Exaggerated reflexes;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Difficulty controlling bladder or bowel movements;
- Weakness in a specific area of the body;
- Muscle spasms; and
- Pain or burning near the spine.
Never assume that a “relatively minor” spinal cord injury is not a big deal. Every spinal cord injury is a serious injury, and to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment for every injury you sustain, seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident.
Long-term Complications of a Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury can lead to many long-term complications for a victim. These include:
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Loss of bladder or bowel control;
- Asthma and pneumonia;
- Blood clots;
- Loss of sensation in the limbs and extremities;
- Neurogenic pain; and
Additionally, individuals living with spinal cord injuries can suffer from depression and other mental health conditions linked to the injury and the losses that it caused.
Work with an Experienced Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
A spinal cord injury can change your life. If you suffer this type of injury in a workplace accident, you could be entitled to access certain benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. To learn more, schedule your initial legal consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at The Law Office of Rick J. DeMedeiros, P.C. today. During your consultation, we can examine your case and work with you to pursue the benefits you are entitled to receive.