As many as 12,000 Americans sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury each year. Spinal cord injuries can seem scary, but seeking proper immediate medical care vastly increases your chances of recovery.
Following an injury to the spinal cord, your ability to control your limbs depends on both the place and severity of the injury. If you experience significant trauma to the head or neck, seek an immediate medical evaluation. If it is serious, the warning signs aren’t always obvious, and symptoms may appear gradually. Emergency signs may include extreme back pain or pressure, weakness or paralysis, loss of balance, and impaired breathing.
Spinal cord injuries are most common following a vehicle accident, falls, violence, sports and recreational activities, or disease. Following an accident, it is safest to assume any injured person has a spinal injury. Immediately call 911 and keep the victim as still as possible, placing heavy towels on the sides of the neck to prevent them from moving.
The lowest part of an injured spinal cord that functions normally is referred to as the injury’s neurological level. The severity of the injury is measured by the level of sensory and motor function below this level. A physician will test the patient’s sensation to touch, and will then typically order an X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
It is important to note that many people lead full and productive lives following a spinal cord injury. However, there are severe potential side effects, and many victims require assistive devices such as a walker or wheelchair. Fortunately, the medical community has seen many advances in the treatment of spinal cord injuries, and numerous treatment and rehabilitation options are available.
If your spinal cord injury is the result of a workplace or other accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call the experienced attorneys at Accident Recovery Team for a free consultation, and the first step to rebuilding your life.