Spinal cord injuries can range from minor to severe. Understanding the signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries can go a long way towards diagnosis, which can lead to care and treatment of the injuries.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be attributed to a number of different but common situations, including:
- Car accidents
- Sports and recreation injuries
- Acts of violence as well as
Alcohol is a contributing factor in one out of every four spinal cord injuries.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury
Many people believe paralysis is the only symptom of a spinal cord injury. While the loss of all feeling and ability to control the movement of limbs can be an indication of a complete spinal cord injury, these are not the only signs. The body’s ability to control limbs after being subject to a spinal cord injury depends on both the location of the injury along the spinal cord as well as the severity of the injury itself.
Signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- Loss of movement
- Loss of sensation
- Altered sensation, including one’s ability to feel cold, heat, and touch
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of bowel control
- Exaggerated reflex actions
- Pain caused by damage to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing or clearing secretions from the lungs
- Changes in sexual function
- Altered sexual sensitivity
- Changes in fertility
Signs and symptoms immediately after an accident which could indicate a spinal cord injury include:
- Twisted back or neck
- Back or neck in an odd position
- Impaired breathing
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty with balance
- Loss of control of bladder or bowels
- Loss of sensation, tingling, or numbness in fingers, hands, toes, or feet
- Extreme pressure in neck, back, or head
- Extreme back pain
When to Seek Medical Attention
Any time someone experiences trauma to their back, neck, or head, they should be seen and evaluated by a medical professional for the potential for a spinal cord injury. Some surprising things about spinal cord injuries include:
- Paralysis can occur immediately, however, it can also develop gradually as swelling and bleeding occur in or around the spinal cord
- Serious spinal cord injuries are not always immediately apparent. However, when spinal cord injuries are not recognized in a timely fashion, a more serious spinal cord injury can develop
Time is of the essence. In fact, time between injury and the subsequent treatment can impact the extent of the injury, the severity of potential complications, and even the extent of one’s recovery.
If You Have Sustained a Spinal Cord Injury
If you have sustained a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to recover the cost of past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and compensation for lost wages, both past and future. Contact the spinal cord injury attorneys at Dennis A. Lopez & Associates at (813) 223-1977. We offer free consultations, so there is no cost to you to discuss whether you have a case. If we feel you have a legal course of action, we do not charge a fee unless we recover on your behalf. Call today.
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