A spinal cord injury arises when there is any type of damage sustained to the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal usually from a motor vehicle accident, fall, act of violence, sports injury, or alcohol-related accident.1 This damage can occur from a number of causes, but typically arises from a traumatic and sudden blow that compresses, fractures, or dislocates the vertebrae which in turn causes displaced bone fragments, loose disc material, or ligaments to bruise or tear into the spinal cord tissue.2 The extent of damage is referred to as either complete, when all sensory and motor function are lost below the point of injury or incomplete, when motor or sensory function is impaired or limited not lost.3 Regardless of the cause or extent of a spinal cord injury, the recovery process can be expensive as well as extensive in both time and the type of treatment.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment
The first stage of spinal cord treatment usually initiates in an emergency room department as a form of trauma care. The trauma care is focused on preventing the spread of damage by stabilizing your heart beat, clearing the respiratory system through intubation, immobilizing the head or neck, monitoring blood flow, or begin medicating with a corticosteroid drug called methylprednisolone to reduce nerve damage and decrease inflammation.4
The second stage of addressing a spinal cord injury focuses on surgical treatment. There are several different purposes behind a spinal surgery including removing foreign objects, removing bone fragments, decompressive surgery to address herniated disks that are compressing the spine, and tendon transfer surgery is a procedure limited to one year after injury aimed at improving arm and hand control.5
The third stage of treatment focuses on managing the complications that are associated with spinal cord injuries. It is common for spinal cord injuries to be associated with mental and physical complications including bladder and bowel control issues, reduced skin sensation, circulatory control problems, respiratory issues due to damage sustained to the abdominal or chest muscles which can result in pneumonia or lung issues, muscle toning problems identified by uncontrolled tightening, spasticity, or flaccidity, neuropathic or central pain, pressure sores, infections, blood clots, or depression.6 Each of these injury complications can require a range of treatments or assistive programs including physical therapy, counseling, rehabilitation, medication, occupational therapy, neuromuscular stimulation, implantable system to improve grasp control, mobility devices such as wheelchairs, or communication devices such as voice activated computers.7
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to an accident or harm caused by another, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.