Spinal cord trauma can be caused by a person being subjected to a violent force such as an automobile collision. The injury may involve damage to the spinal cord itself or to surrounding tissue. Because the spinal cord contains a web of nerves that send information to and from the brain and all the different parts of the body, victims of this sort of accident often suffer partial or total loss of mobility control as well as loss of function of the arms and legs.
Causes And Signs
Damage to the spinal cord can be caused by sports injuries, automobile accidents, falls, assault by another person, or accidents at work. Direct injury to the spinal cord is often the result of the vertebrate bones or disks being weakened. In many cases, bone fragments pinch the nerve network. If the victim has been impaled or has suffered a wound that includes the entry of a foreign object, the object may penetrate through to the cord and cause significant nerve damage.
Signs of spinal cord injury include overall weakness and loss of feeling in the extremities. Numbness in the legs is commonly experienced. Bowel movements may become more difficult to control. Fatigue, dizziness, and pain in the arms or legs are among the most common symptoms of spinal cord trauma.
Injuries Suffered While Driving
Whiplash injuries occur when a vehicle occupant is subjected to a violent collision. Aside from pain and tissue damage to the neck area, the sharp impact of a collision can also damage the spinal cord because the victim is literally bent forwards or backwards. In such cases, compression below the first lumbar vertebra can result in injury to the nerve roots in this region. Known as equina syndrome, this type of injury is a medical emergency because the mass of nerves can no longer send or receive information from the brain.
Even if an airbag is deployed, the shock of the expanding bag hitting the driver or other passenger is sufficient to cause spinal cord damage. This is why immediate medical attention is important. Some of the more prominent signs of spinal cord trauma, especially pain and numbness, may not become evident for a period of time after the damage occurs.
If any of the symptoms of spinal injury are experienced after a collision, fall, or sports injury, get immediate medical help. The recovery period may be extensive, meaning lost time at work and some hefty medical bills. If insurance compensation is forthcoming, seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer.