Basic Facts About Spinal Cord Injuries

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No matter whether caused by a car accident or a fall from improperly maintained stairs, suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI ) can change a person’s life. Unfortunately, SCIs are not uncommon: roughly 450,000 people in the United States currently live with a SCI. Each year, approximately 10,000 people suffer an SCI and most of them – about 82 percent – are men between the ages of 16 and 30.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A SCI is any damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of mobility or feeling. Though some diseases may cause SCI, they are most commonly caused by motor vehicle accidents or falls.

Contrary to what many may believe, the spinal cord does not need to be severed in order for SCI to occur. Indeed, most of those with SCI have an intact spinal cord, but damage to it is so severe that function is lost.

What Are the Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries?

How a person is affected by a SCI depends upon the type of injury. Experts often divide SCIs into two categories:

  • Complete: in a complete injury, mobility, feeling, and voluntary movement are absent below the site of the injury and both sides of the body are equally affected.
  • Incomplete: in an incomplete injury, there is some level of mobility, feeling or voluntary movement below the site of the injury. In some cases, a person with an incomplete SCI may be able to move or feel one side of his body, but not the other.
    As treatment strategies for SCIs have become more advanced, incomplete SCIs have become more common.

Are SCIs Curable?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for a spinal cord injury. Although some experimental treatments have shown some level of success, SCIs last a lifetime. What is worse, those who have suffered SCIs often must spend significant time in the hospital, resulting in significant medical bills.

A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury due to another person’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For more information, contact a personal injury attorney today.