A spinal cord injury usually results from some kind of trauma.
A vehicle crash is a common contributor to physical trauma and if the impact damages your spine, the injury could affect every aspect of your life.
A spinal cord injury takes two forms: complete and incomplete. If you suffer a complete injury, you will lose all feeling in your body below the level of the injury. With an incomplete SCI, some feeling and ability to function will remain below the injury level. The site of the injury is important. If located near the neck, the result could be quadriplegia-paralysis of both arms and legs, but a lower back injury could cause paraplegia-paralysis of the legs only.
Diagnosing the injury
Although SCI can result in lifelong medical issues, the injury is not always immediately recognizable, which is why it is important to see a doctor promptly following a vehicle crash. Symptoms do not always include paralysis; you might experience back pain, muscle spasms, difficulty breathing or even digestive issues. Following an examination, your doctor will likely order diagnostic tests, such as a CT scan to pinpoint the location of an injury and x-rays of the spine, which would show any fractures or other types of damage in the area.
Treatment for the injury
At the present time, doctors have no way to reverse a spinal cord injury, although research is ongoing in this regard. What medical professionals can do is work on preventing further injury and help a patient with SCI resume as active a life as possible. Neural prosthetic devices stimulate nerves in order to restore certain functions, such as bladder control, and help with breathing as well as arm and leg mobility. Medications may also help with nerve cell regeneration. In short, SCI can affect your life in many ways. However, if you suffer such an injury as the victim of a car crash, you have a right to expect full and fair compensation to cover both current and future medical expenses, lost wages and more.