OVERVIEW OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Symptoms of spinal cord injury include paralysis, reduction in coordination, numbness, tingling, loss of bowel or bladder control, any pain. Any trauma that cuts, compresses, pushes, or pulls your spinal cord may injure the cord. Spinal cord injuries can also be caused by non-trauma, such as blood clots, abscesses, or tumors that put pressure on the spinal cord.
After a traumatic spinal cord injury, the spine should be stabilized as quickly as possible. Doctors often prescribe corticosteroid medications to limit damage. If spinal cord injury is suspected, a CT scan, MRI or myelogram may be used to diagnoses a possible injury. Surgery may be needed to stabilize the spine or fuse the spine with metal plates or pins.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Traumatic spinal cord injuries are classified into five types—letters A through D—by the American Spinal Injury Association and the International Spinal Cord Injury Classification System:
- A: complete lack of motor and sensory function below the level of injury (including the anal area)
- B: some sensation below the level of the injury (including anal sensation)
- C: some muscle movement is spared below the level of injury, but 50% of the muscles below the level of injury cannot move against gravity
- D: more than 50% Most (more than 50 percent) of the muscles that are spared below the level of injury are strong enough to move against gravity
- E: all neurologic function has returned
Spinal cord injuries can be caused by truck and car accidents, violent criminal acts, falls, and workplace injuries. Long-term treatment involves an intense program of rehabilitation therapy. Continuing treatment might include nutritional management, occupational therapy, psychological counseling and careful monitoring by physicians. As a result, monetary costs associated with spinal cord injuries are very high—plus physical and emotional damages. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury and believe it may have been caused by an intentional or negligent act, you should contact Mike Rafi to discuss a case.