Each year, nearly 10,000 people in this country experience a spinal cord injury (SCI). Any damage to the spinal cord (the bundle of nerves extending out of the base of the brain and continueing down the body, housed in the spine) which results in loss of function may be called SCI. Either trauma or disease may cause SCI. Automobile accidents are currently the leading cause.
SCI may be “complete” or “incomplete.” Complete injuries result in loss of all function/sensation below the level of the injury. Incomplete injuries are partial – some level of function/sensation remains.
The medical profession defines and refers to SCI with reference to the affected area of the spine, using the closest vertebrae. For example, an injury to the 4th cervical (neck) vertebrae is called a C-4, the 2nd thoracic (upper back) a T-2, and 5th lumbar (lower back) an L-5.
The higher the injury on the spine (the closer to the origin of the spinal cord in the brain) the greater the potential for loss of function. Neck injuries may affect all four limbs quadriplegia) while thoracic and lumbar injuries can only affect the legs (paraplegia). Depending on the type an severity of injury, dysfunction will vary.
A common secondary effect of SCI is swelling of the spinal cord, which may create many of the same symptoms as abrasion or laceration to the spinal cord. However, the symptoms caused by swelling are usually temporary, though it may be weeks or months before the swelling subsides.
There is currently no “cure” for SCI, no way to effectively reattach or regenerate the damaged nerves. While this may be possible in the future through stem cell technology, current treatment consists of stabilization of damaged vertebrae, treatment for swelling of the spinal cord, and physical rehabilitation.
Our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys in Plantation, Florida have experience handling a variety of spinal cord injury cases. Contact Fenster & Cohen P.A. today by calling (954) 473-1500 or contacting us online for your free initial consultation. Our spinal cord injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only charge for our services if we win or settle your case. Ensure that you do not reach the statute of limitations for your spinal cord injury case and call us right away.