A spinal cord injury (SCI) can result in lifelong impairment, but the symptoms are not always recognizable at the time the injury occurs.
The impact of a vehicle crash is a common cause of SCI. Testing will help determine the severity of the injury and the chances of recovery.
About the spinal cord
The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerves that carry impulses from the brain to other parts of the body. Most injuries result from a violent blow to some section of the spinal cord, such as that produced by a car crash. The spinal cord is fragile and if severely injured, cannot repair itself.
Symptoms of SCI
There are two forms of SCI: complete and incomplete. With a complete injury, the victim will lose the ability to feel and move below the site of the injury. With an incomplete injury, some ability to function will remain. An injury that occurs in the lower part of the spinal cord can cause paralysis of the legs whereas damage to the upper portion can cause paralysis of both arms and legs. Still, the immediate symptoms may only include pain, difficulty breathing or digestive problems, which could also be indicative of other issues. It is important to seek medical help promptly. A doctor will run diagnostic tests such as a CT scan and a myelogram to determine the exact location and extent of damage to the spinal cord.
Rehabilitation and recovery
At this time, there is no cure for SCI although research is ongoing. Fortunately, neural prosthetic devices can restore certain bodily functions and long-term rehabilitation can help patients return to a productive lifestyle. The injured victim of a car crash has a right to expect full and fair compensation to cover current and future medical costs and more.