Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries with Isaac Zisckind - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries with Isaac Zisckind


In the majority of cases, spinal cord injuries results physical trauma such as car accidents, slip and falls and sports injuries. When a spinal cord injury occurs usually a doctor who treats the injury will classify it by the nerve location and how much damage there is. By way of background the spinal cord is surrounded by protracted set of rings of bone called vertebrae. The vertebrae and nerves are numbered as following. The cervical area of the spine contain seven vertebrae C1 – C7 and eight cervical nerves C1 – C8. Cervical injuries usually cause loss of function in the chest arms and legs area sometime cervical injuries can also affect bowel and bladder control as well. The next segment is classified as the Thoracic. This area contains 12 vertebrae T1 – T 12 and 12 nerves T1-T12. Injuries in this area usually affect the chest and the legs and sometimes breathing. The next segment is called the lumbar area. This area contains five lumbar vertebrae L1 – L5 and 5 nerves L1–L5. Injuries in this area usually affect the hips and legs. Lumbar injuries can also affect bowel and bladder control. The last area is called the sacral. This area has five vertebrae S1 –S5 and five nerves S1 – S5. Usually the higher the damage that occurs on the spinal cord the more of the body that is affected. for example if you sustain a injury in the cervical area that is severe, it is likely to cause some paralysis which can be classified as tetraplegia or quadriplegia.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The American spinal injury Association throughout North America classify spinal cord injuries in the following ways.

A-     complete: no feeling or movement of the areas of the body that are controlled by the lowest sacral nerves. People with complete spinal cord injuries usually do not have control of bowel or bladder function.

B-      incomplete: feeling but no movement below the level of injury including segments that control bowel or bladder function.

C-     and complete feeling and movement below the level of injury more than half of the key muscles can move but not against gravity. For example raising your hand your mouth when sitting up is not possible.

D-     incomplete: feeling of movement below the level of injury more than half of key muscles can move against gravity.

E-     feeling and movement are normal.

According to various sources,  severe spinal cord injuries were labelled as catastrophic even in ancient times. It is long believed to be untreatable however spinal cord injuries have seen great improvements in the middle of the 20th century. It is well-known that spinal cord injuries require substantial long-term is a call in occupational therapy. Usually the first year after a severe trauma, victims will  work with therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, nurses, social workers, psychologists under the supervision of a physiatrist. This is why it is very important that somebody who is suffering from a spinal cord injury surrounds themselves with the best available team.

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