Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries | Diamond & Diamond
  • Monday, 26 July 2021

Impacts of Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is a severe type of physical trauma that’s likely to have a lasting impact on most aspects of daily life. It can be challenging to adjust to life after a spinal cord injury (SCI). You don’t, however, have to make this change alone. Here’s what you need to know if you’ve experienced a spinal cord injury in Ontario.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

So what is a spinal cord injury? Damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that transmits and receives information from the brain to the rest of the body is known as a spinal cord injury (SCI). SCI can be caused by damage to the tissue and bones in the vertebrae that surround the…

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

So what is a spinal cord injury? Damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that transmits and receives information from the brain to the rest of the body is known as a spinal cord injury (SCI). SCI can be caused by damage to the tissue and bones in the vertebrae that surround the spinal cord or by direct injury to the spinal cord itself. 

The spinal cord runs from the bottom portion of the brain to the lower back. Below the injury site, this damage can cause temporary or permanent alterations in sensation, movement, strength, and bodily functions. The two forms of spinal cord injury are listed below:

Incomplete Injury

The spinal cord may still send and receive information from the brain. People with incomplete injuries may still have some sensory function and control over muscle action below the damage site.

Complete Injury

There’s no nerve communication, and sensory and motor function below the injury site are lost.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

These are the common causes of spinal cord injuries

Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

The severity of spinal cord injury symptoms is determined by whether the injury is total or partial, as well as the location of the damage. If you experience any of the following symptoms after an accident, get medical help right away:

  • Numbness, tingling, or a loss of or changes in sensation in the hands and feet
  • Paralysis may happen immediately or develop over time as swelling and bleeding affect the spinal cord
  • Pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back
  • Loss of movement
  • Weakness or inability to move any part of the body
  • Unnatural positions of the spine or head
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Problems walking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Changes in sexual function

If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s carelessness or malicious conduct, contact Diamond & Diamond’s experienced personal injury lawyers for assistance.

Injury and Severity of a Spinal Cord Injury

The degree of the damage and where it occurs determines the amount of impairment. The following sections explain how spinal cord injury can impact a variety of bodily processes.

Spinal Cord Reflexes

Signals from the brain are transmitted to the spinal cord, which causes movement. The brain is unable to deliver information when the spinal cord is injured. The spinal nerves receive signals at the area of damage, but they can’t travel up the spinal tracts to the brain. These are reflex motions, not consciously directed movements. They can happen when you touch your foot or cough.

Spinal Shock

Following the onset of spinal shock, spasticity, or stiffness, develops below the area of the spinal cord injury. All spinal cord reflexes below the damaged area are temporarily lost. This might last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Spinal shock is unavoidable and must be treated on its own.

Breathing

After an SCI, the diaphragm, intercostal, and abdominal muscles required for breathing and coughing may become weak. Coughing is necessary to remove mucus and germs from the lungs. If a person develops a weak cough or can’t remove secretions from their lungs, they’re more susceptible to infections like pneumonia.

Neurogenic Shock (Low Heart Rate and Low Blood Pressure)

The brain typically controls blood pressure and heart rate. To maintain blood pressure and heart rate normal, brain signals transmit information via the spinal cord to constrict blood vessels and elevate heart rate. When these signals aren’t received, a person’s blood pressure drops and their heart rate slows.

Altered Temperature Regulation

Below the degree of damage, a person may not be able to sweat or generate goosebumps. The body is then unable to regulate its temperature. A person may be chilly and require blankets, become overheated, and need a fan or be exposed.

Autonomic Hyperreflexia

Below the area of damage, a person may be unable to sweat or produce goosebumps. The body’s temperature can’t be adjusted, so the person may feel chilly and require blankets. Then, they can get heated and require the use of a fan.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that can form in the legs or arms. A lack of activity frequently can cause it. To assist a DVT, elastic stockings, sequential compression devices, and foot pumps will be put on your legs or feet.

Stomach Ileus

When the intestines do not pass food through normally, an ileus develops. It frequently happens during abdominal surgery. Ileus is a serious disease since it can cut off blood flow to the intestines and induce tissue death if left untreated.

Bowel Control

After an accident, changes in bowel control may occur. Constipation or diarrhea may be present. It’s possible to utilize a bowel training regimen that includes food, medication, and digital stimulation.

Bladder Control

The signals between your bladder and brain may also be altered as a result of SCI. When the bladder is full, neurons in the bladder transmit a message to the brain via the spinal cord, signifying the urge to pee.

Muscles and Tendons

Spasticity can arise when nerve signals from the brain to the muscles are obstructed. This is often not seen until after the spinal shock has subsided. Spasticity refers to the inability of muscles to stretch. Contractures, or muscle and tendon shortening, are common side effects.

Bones and Joints

Long-term bed rest and a lack of joint mobility are associated with the development of hard calcium deposits (bone spurs). Heterotopic ossification is the term for this process. It can result in discomfort, spasms, and a loss of function. 

It occurs when calcium that has been lost from the bones accumulates in the muscles, tendons, or joints. This usually begins two weeks to four months following the accident. Hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows are the most frequent sites in the body where this may occur.

Acute or Chronic Pain

Bruising, fractured bones, surgery, or poor posture can all produce acute pain. Overuse of joints and muscles and changes in muscles, joints, and ligaments can result in chronic pain. The type and source of pain are used to determine how to treat it. 

Brain Injuries

Many patients who have had significant neck and back trauma may also have brain damage. These injuries might range from minor concussions to more serious ones. They can cause memory, attention, and communication problems, as well as personality changes. This is why you need a brain injury lawyer.

Contact Diamond & Diamond Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Spinal Cord Injury Case

Anyone who has had a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing may be able to launch a lawsuit. To show responsibility and receive compensation for your spinal cord injury, you’ll need legal counsel from a spinal cord injury lawyer specializing in this sort of litigation to help you determine what your spinal cord injury is. 

Learn what it takes to show responsibility in a lawsuit involving a spinal cord injury. To assist you with your case, contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Diamond & Diamond. Call 1-800-567-HURT today.

pro tip icon

Pro Tip

“You shouldn’t have to deal with a spinal cord injury alone. It’s not a show of weakness to accept assistance after being partially or fully paralyzed. It is preferable to enlist the assistance of others and professionals.”

Impacts of Spinal Cord Injury FAQs 

How can I prevent spinal cord injuries?

When driving or riding in a car, always use a seatbelt; for children, this is critical. Ensure that kid safety straps are correctly installed in the vehicle. Never operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, or ride with someone who is. 

When driving, focus on the road and avoid distractions. Phone calls and texts can wait. Maintain a clean environment at home. In the house, slips and falls are common. It’s vital to keep the floor free of any dangers that might cause a fall. This is essential for the elderly, who are more vulnerable to falls.

Installing handrails on stairways can also assist in enhancing your home’s safety. If you believe someone has a spinal cord injury, don’t move them. Allow emergency personnel to assess the injured individual. Moving someone who has suffered a spinal cord injury might exacerbate the condition.

What should I do if I suspect a spinal cord injury?

Don’t move the injured individual if you suspect a spinal injury. Permanent paralysis and other catastrophic consequences are possible outcomes. Assume a person has a spinal injury if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • There’s evidence of a brain injury and a shift in the person’s degree of awareness over time.
  • The person is in excruciating agony due to their neck or back.
  • A significant amount of force has been applied to the back or head due to an injury.
  • The individual feels weak, numb, or paralyzed and can’t control their limbs, bladder, or intestines.
  • The neck or body is twisted or positioned unusually.

Can I fully recover from a spinal cord injury?

People with spinal cord injuries may lose function all over their bodies. This loss of function has the potential to be irreversible. Some people, though, do recover completely. Secondary problems such as pressure sores and blood clots can result from a spinal cord injury.

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