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Over 10,000 people in the United States sustain a spinal cord injury each year. Along with the typical pain associated with traumatic bodily damage, spinal cord injuries can additionally cause permanent changes in strength, body functions, sensation, and more. Though a spinal cord injury can be life-altering, there are many options available for rehabilitation and treatment.

If you sustained a spinal cord injury due to another person’s negligence, such as a car accident, construction accident, or other event, you may also be eligible for legal compensation, contact a Winston Salem spinal cord injury lawyer to learn more. Below is an informational guide to spinal cord injuries, from causes to recovery and how a catastrophic injury attorney can help.

Causes of Spinal Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can occur in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Car Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Construction Accidents
  • Herniated Discs
  • Sports Injuries
  • Diseases

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of all spinal cord injuries in the United States for people age 65 and younger, while falls are the leading cause in the 65 and over category. Specifically for people age 29 and younger, sports and recreation-related spinal injuries are a major concern.

Wearing a seatbelt at all times in moving vehicles, wearing protective gear when necessary while playing sports, and practicing even wearing a helmet while biking can help to prevent spinal cord injuries.

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury typically occurs due to a traumatic blow to the spine, causing vertebrae to fracture or dislocate. The sudden impact can compress or sever spinal nerves, sometimes causing debilitating nervous system issues.

Spinal cord damage can result in symptoms such as changes in movement, bladder control, sensory abilities, and more, depending on the location of the impact on the spine and the severity of the injury.

Spinal cord injuries are typically characterized as complete and incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury results in the spinal cord being unable to send signals to the rest of the body below the injury – in other words, leaving the victim paralyzed from that location downward.

An incomplete spinal cord injury, while less severe, also can cause serious long-term effects. It is important to get treatment as soon as possible in order to stabilize the spine, either mechanically or through surgery to reduce the chance of permanent damage. A Winston-Salem spinal cord injury attorney can assist in ensuring those injured receive proper care.

Injury Recovery

Although in some cases spinal cord injuries may cause irreparable bodily harm, there are many types of treatments available for those who have sustained such injuries. There is no way to reverse spinal cord damage that has already been done, but there are many medications and therapies that can help restore nerve function and cell growth following the injury.

In the early stages, doctors will immediately attempt to immobilize the neck and back to prevent further spinal cord damage. Surgery may be necessary to remove bone fragments, fractured vertebrae, or foreign objects that may be lodged in the spine.

Spinal cord injury recovery teams are often comprised of many different fields of experts, including physical therapists, physiatrists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, and more. Certain types of medications may also be used to manage pain and muscle control.

Winston Salem Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury due to an accident in which negligence may have been involved, you could be entitled to a legal settlement. Contact a Winston-Salem spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible to find out if you have a viable claim.