MICHIGAN BACK AND SPINAL CORD INJURY LAWYERS
One of the most common causes of a back or spinal cord injury is physical trauma.
Physical trauma resulting in these types of injuries is often the result of another person’s negligent conduct. When this happens, you need a good back injury lawyer. Back and spine injuries range from minor soft tissue injuries to severely herniated discs which may even require surgery.
COMMON BACK INJURIES DUE TO PHYSICAL TRAUMA
There are three main areas of the spine. These include the cervical spine (upper back and neck area), thoracic spine (mid-back), and lumbar spine (lower back). One of the most common back injuries resulting from a car accident is a lumbar or cervical sprain. Thoracic sprains can occur but are less common than lower back or upper back and neck sprains.
Another common back injury that is often seen with car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash happens when the impact of a car accident forces a person’s head backward and then forward in a swift motion, resulting in pain in the neck and shoulders.
A herniated disc can also occur due to a car accident, and it happens when a disc is displaced due to the trauma of the collision. The displaced disc can put pressure onto the spinal cord or nerves surrounding the cord, which causes sudden and severe pain to the lower back and may also include a sensation of numbness in the legs. A herniated disc may require surgery to correct the problem entirely.
SPINAL CORD INJURIES
A spinal cord injury occurs when there is damage to any portion of the spinal cord or the nerves near the end of the spinal canal. While some spinal cord injuries may be minor, involving bruising of the area, many spinal cord injuries are severe, and they can cause permanent changes in a person’s bodily functions, sensation, and strength.
Physical trauma, such as a car accident, may be the cause of damage to a person’s spinal cord. The force of the collision and its impact can have significant consequences for an occupant of a motor vehicle, causing significant injuries. A serious spinal cord injury may not be immediately apparent, so if you have injured your back in a car accident, it is a good idea to get medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not think it is a serious injury.
SIGNS OF A SPINAL CORD INJURY
Spinal cord injuries can be extremely serious, and if you suspect that you have damaged or injured your spinal cord in any way, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. Below are some common indicators of a spinal cord injury.
- Loss of movement
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- The intense sensation of stinging in your spinal cord area (caused by damage to nerve fibers)
- Changes in sexual function
- Changes in fertility or sexual sensitivity
- Loss of sensation or changes in sensation, particularly your ability to touch and to feel heat or coldness
- Difficulty breathing or coughing
- Pain in your spinal cord area
In many cases, severe damage to the back or the spinal cord results from another person’s negligent conduct. If you or a member of your family is suffering from a back or spinal injury due to physical trauma, contact us immediately to get in touch with one of our expert back injury lawyers.
MORE INFORMATION ON BACK INJURIES:
Anatomy of a Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord, along with the brain, makes up the central nervous system. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that runs from the brain down to about the waist. A column of protective bones, known as vertebrae, surrounds this bundle of nerves.
A spinal cord injury is defined as any damage to the spinal cord, which can cause a loss of function to the body. Frequently, this loss of function is total or partial paralysis and/or a lack of physical sensation.
It is possible to suffer a serious injury, such as a ruptured disc, and not damage the spinal cord. Thus, broken vertebrae in the neck or back (i.e. a broken back) may be less serious than injury to the spinal cord itself.
When a spinal cord injury does occur, the extent of that injury often relates directly to the level (location) on the spinal cord where the trauma occurred. Injury to the cervical portion of the cord, the area associated with the neck, often results in quadriplegia, the total paralysis of the arms and legs. If the injury occurs to the mid-section of the spinal column or thoracic region, the result is paraplegia, the paralysis of the lower body. Lower spinal column or lumbar region injuries can cause paralysis of the legs or loss of sensation and/or some loss of lower mobility.
Treatment for Spinal Injuries
There still is no cure for spinal cord injuries, although modern research continues to provide hope for future treatments. The most encouraging recent breakthroughs are medications administered shortly after injury, which reduce the spinal cord swelling and lessen the severity of injury. Most of these medications are steroid-based. One of the most common is called methylprednisolone.
About 85% of spinal cord injury victims who survive the first day after injury are still alive 10 years later. This is a substantial improvement from a generation ago.
Back Injury Statistics
Given the current population size of 314 million people in the U.S., the recent estimate showed that the annual incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI) is approximately 54 cases per million population in the U.S. or approximately 17,000 new SCI cases each year.
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