The Facts About Spinal Cord Injuries
Getting up each day, getting ready for work, eating breakfast, kissing our spouses or family member goodbye and heading off to work is something most of us do without even thinking about it. While we go about our business, our body performs the important functions necessary to keep us alive. The things we do each day, the movements and actions that occur either knowingly or unknowingly, are the result of a complex bundle of nerves that carry messages and signals from our brains to various parts of our body. The spinal cord plays an instrumental role in not only what we do on a daily basis, but also in the body functions we depend upon to survive. Spinal cord injuries have severe and often life-threatening consequences. While millions of Americans currently live with the devastating effects of a spinal cord injury, each year there are millions more who may be at risk.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are approximately six million people currently living with spinal cord injuries, and nearly all us of know or have heard of someone affected. When actor Christopher Reeve suffered a spinal cord injury during a riding accident in the spring of 1995, it put a recognized face on spinal cord injuries and raised awareness for millions of people. He and his wife started the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which conducts extensive research on spinal cord injuries in the hopes of finding a cure, while providing support to sufferers and their families. Both Reeve and his wife have since passed away, but the work they started continues today. According to the latest data from the Reeve Foundation, common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car accidents;
- On-the-job injuries;
- Sporting and recreational accidents;
- Slip and fall injuries;
- Birth defects; and
- Natural disasters.
The Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is made up of a bundle of nerves that transmit signals from the brain to various parts of the body. Any type of damage to the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal cord canal can causes permanent changes in the ability to function. The effects of a spinal cord injury depend on where the person was injured, with changes in functioning typically occurring below the site of the specific injury. Spinal cord injuries are classified in two ways: incomplete and complete. An incomplete injury means there is some sensory or motor function below the level of the injury. A complete spinal cord injury means there is little or no feeling or movement below the injury site. The effects of spinal cord injury include:
- Extreme pain or pressure in the neck, back, or head;
- Lack of coordination or paralysis in any part of the body;
- Numbness and loss of sensation in hands, fingers, feet, and toes;
- Loss of bladder control;
- Impaired breathing; and
- Difficulty in walking or loss of balance.
Serious spinal cord injuries are not always obvious. It is important to get immediate medical care after any accident or injury to assess the damage. A spinal cord injury can be fatal if not properly attended.
Reach Out to an Lawyer for Help
If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact an experienced Florida medical personal injury lawyer today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we will fight for your rights, and help you receive the damages you need to recover. We serve the entire Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties. Call us at (772) 595-6654 for a free consultation.