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Do spinal cord injuries always cause paralysis?

Sep 10, 2015 | Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries come in many forms, many of which will not heal and cause permanent damage. You may have been hit by a car or been involved in a pedestrian accident that resulted in your injury, and for you, it’s important to learn more about making a claim for compensation. These injuries can be very costly, both now and in the future. An attorney experienced in personal injury lawsuits can give you more information.

What’s important to understand is that spinal injuries may not injure the nerves or they may impact the nerves. Depending on the kind of injury you’ve suffered, you’ll find that you have different consequences. For example, a spinal column injury could just impact the spine, while a spinal cord injury could damage the nerves communicating from the brain.

There are 33 vertebrae on the spine including seven cervical, five lumbar, five sacral, four fused and 12 thoracic. When you get hurt, the body parts that will suffer typically include those below the point of injury. The spinal cord is protected by your spine, and if the spine is forced apart or the spinal cord is impacted, the injuries you suffer will be more severe than if you only break bones or slip discs.

With a spinal cord injury, the damage to the communication between the body and the brain can make it hard to do certain things. For instance, you could be paralyzed from the waist down or lose sensation in one arm. The extent of the damage will depend on where the injury took place and on how severe the injury was. It’s possible for you to lose the ability to move muscles, feel or touch, or to have other functions of the body altered, like how your body eliminates waste or how you breathe.

If you are left with paralysis, it’s possible to suffer from one of many kinds. Paraplegia happens when you lose sensation in the legs or lower trunk. Quadriplegia happens when you lose function and sensation in several body parts including the chest, arms, legs and trunk.

Source: Spinal Cord Injury BC, “About Spinal Cord Injury,” accessed Sep. 10, 2015

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