If you receive a spinal cord injury diagnosis after an accident, the doctor may use terminology with which you are not familiar. This may leave you wondering what the different types of spinal cord injuries are. Spinal injuries will fit into one of two categories: complete or incomplete.
Within each of the two categories, you will find varying levels of severity in the spinal cord injury. Understanding your injury’s severity can give you a clue as to your hope for some sort of recovery.
If you can show that another party’s negligence caused the accident in which you suffered the spinal injury, you can seek a judgment. The type and severity of your spinal injury will play a role in determining the settlement amount you could receive.
Understanding a Complete Spinal Cord Injury Diagnosis
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), a complete spinal cord injury (SCI) is one where the body suffers complete paralysis below the location of the injury. The victim will be unable to have sensory or motor functions below the injury location with this kind of injury.
This type of injury leads to significant health problems and a potentially shorter lifespan. According to a study in the World Journal of Orthopedics, a number of issues can affect
the victim’s quality of life after a complete SCI, including:
- Increased rates of rehospitalization
- Decreased ability to find employment
- Inability to handle personal care needs alone
- Confinement to a wheelchair
- Complications with the respiratory system
- A higher level of cardiovascular system concerns
- Complications with urinary and bowel functions
- Chronic pain and discomfort
- Muscle atrophy
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Understanding an Incomplete SCI Diagnosis
If the victim has an incomplete SCI, he or she will be facing a reduced quality of life. However, with the incomplete spinal cord injury, the victim still has some motor and sensory functions below the injury’s location.
AANS reports that the person with the incomplete SCI may end up moving one side of his or her body more effectively than the other side. If the victim has equal movement on both sides, he or she may have severe weakness below the location of the injury, necessitating the use of a walker or wheelchair.
Diagnosis of a Spinal Concussion
Another type of spinal injury that typically would fit into a diagnosis of an incomplete SCI is a spinal concussion. This usually involves a contusion of the spinal cord after a hard collision, often after a sports injury or a car accident.
AANS reports that spinal concussion symptoms can include:
- Numbness in the extremities
- Tingling in the extremities
- Temporary paralysis
Oftentimes, these symptoms will resolve themselves within a few days with rest. However, the symptoms may linger for weeks or months, depending on the severity of the contusion. Occasionally, a spinal concussion could evolve into a complete SCI, but this is rare.
Healing of the Spinal Cord Injury
Incomplete and complete spinal cord injuries rarely heal because nerve cells are not able to regenerate. New treatments will attempt to help the spinal cord heal itself, but most patients don’t receive much benefit at this time.
According to Cleveland Clinic, doctors may attempt to stabilize the spine or perform surgery that removes damaged tissue and blood clots to try to return some function to the spinal cord.
Physical therapy and medication may help the victim regain some mobility, but most spinal injury victims will have some reduction in quality of life forever.
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Receiving the Compassionate Legal Representation You Deserve
The severity of an injury to the spine affects your ability to receive a judgment for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. Victims who suffer severe injuries to the spine, leaving them with a significantly reduced quality of life, will have the ability to seek a greater level of financial damages.
Counteracting the Insurer’s Claims
After you suffer a spinal cord injury, the insurance company for the party that caused the accident may doubt the severity of your injury. The insurer may try to convince you that you did something wrong that played a contributory role in the accident.
It can be extremely frustrating to be accused of lying when you are facing a future of limited mobility, pain, and an inability to work. Trust that the team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers will treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve. We will listen to your health concerns and make sure the insurance company understands the facts in the case.
Call us today at (404) 888-8888 for a free review of your case. As soon as you choose to hire us, we will be ready to begin working on your behalf. If the insurer refuses to come to a fair settlement during negotiations, we will stand by your side in a court case.
Speak to a team member from our firm about the different types of spinal cord injuries and how your injuries’ specifics could determine the amount of damages you could recover.