It is one of the most critical parts of the body because it contains the “transmission wires” that issue orders to all parts of our body. Everything from the heart’s beating to the “orders” issued to legs to run is transmitted as electrical impulses from the brain, down the spinal cord, to whatever part of the body they need to go.
This means that if the spinal cord is injured, the results can be incredibly severe for the accident victim. In some cases, the quality of life is irrevocably lowered due to permanent, crippling injuries that can arise from a spinal cord injury.
How Do Injuries Happen?
Spinal cord injuries most often occur as a result of drastic physical forces applied to the body. While diseases can inflict spinal cord injuries, the most numerous causes come from accidents such as:
The physical forces involved in a vehicular collision are large amounts of mass and speed combined into an impact. While many new safeguards have been built into modern vehicles to mitigate the seriousness of injuries, these are, in no way, guarantees against spinal cord injuries.
Contact sports such as hockey, basketball, or football involve many people approaching each other at high speeds, sometimes with the deliberate intent to collide against someone. Like vehicle accidents, this can result in forces applied to the spinal cord that it can’t tolerate, resulting in injuries.
While most people think of falls as just an embarrassment or may resulting in a minor scrape, they can do real damage based on the height. Falling from the top of a skyscraper, for example, is fatal. However, people that work in construction, or even people on the second level of a shopping mall can suffer severe spinal cord injuries by just falling to ground level.
One of the most frightening aspects of spinal cord injuries is the scale of the injuries. Because the spinal cord carries every nerve in the body, depending on the location and the severity of the spinal cord injury, different outcomes can occur. Some of the more severe consequences are:
If the spinal cord is severely injured or even severed, depending on the location, paralysis can result. If the injury occurs near or below the waist, a victim can have paraplegia and lose the legs’ use. If the damage is closer to the neck, the victim may have quadriplegia and lose the benefit of legs and arms.
The body continues to build both urine and feces that require periodic emptying. Still, a spinal injury may result in the victim no longer getting the nerve signals indicating it’s time to use the toilet. Thus poor bladder and bowel control can be the result.
Some people experience permanent, diminished sexual performance due to spinal cord damage, making it difficult or even impossible to engage in sex acts, which can have a domino effect of leading to depression and other emotional issues.
Victims of spinal cord injury who have suffered this condition due to negligence should immediately seek out the help of a personal injury lawyer. Find out what your options are, and get the compensation you deserve.