Injuries to the spine can range from mild discomfort in the neck and back to paralyzing damage to the spinal cord. Spine injuries are most commonly caused by motor vehicle accidents but can result from any trauma to the spine, including falls, athletic collisions, or work-related incidents. Some of the more frequent forms of spinal injuries include whiplash, herniated discs, and/or sciatica. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might have experienced an injury to your back or spine:
- Acute or chronic pain
- Muscle or joint weakness
- Numbing sensations in the extremities
- Coordination issues
- Pain, weakness, numbness, or motor difficulties in a region that was not exposed to any trauma
The spine is categorized into three distinct regions, and the severity of the injury often varies depending on the area where the trauma was inflicted.
- C-Spine: The cervical spine is comprised of the top seven vertebrae.
- L-Spine: The lumbar spine is comprised of the lower five vertebrae.
- T-Spine: The thoracic spine is comprised of the middle 12 vertebrae.
There are two types of severe spinal cord injuries:
An incomplete injury to the spinal cord involves a partial loss of sensation and movement below the impacted vertebrae. The severity of an incomplete spinal injury cannot be determined until 6-8 weeks after the injury has occurred, as spinal shock must fully subside before an accurate diagnosis can be made.
A complete injury to the spinal cord involves complete paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Complete quadriplegia is the total and permanent loss of sensation and function below the neck. In some cases, those suffering with quadriplegia maintain some degree of hand and arm movement.
- Complete paraplegia is a total and permanent loss of function below the first vertebra of the thoracic spine. The result is a loss of sensation and movement in the lower extremities, bowel, bladder, and genitals. Occasionally, individuals with complete paraplegia are able to stand or even walk with assistance.
Injuries to the spine can be devastating, and even seemingly minor injuries have the potential to develop into debilitating conditions. In fact, back injuries are one of the leading causes of missed time from work. If you are experiencing prolonged or acute back pain, numbness, or difficulty with coordination, please visit a hospital or physician immediately.
Here at the Law Office of William D. Cook, we have a wealth of experience litigating personal injury claims arising from spine injury. We also offer a free consultation to thoroughly discuss the particulars of your case, as well as a policy that ensures that you do not pay until we are able to win your case through settlement or trial.