You may know that car crashes are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injury, but they are also the primary cause of spinal cord injury, or SCI.
Car accidents cause trauma to our bodies, and SCI commonly results from trauma. However, as serious as it is, SCI is not always evident at the time of a vehicle crash.
The spinal cord transmits impulses from the brain to other parts of the body. It can sustain injury from a sudden blow that either dislocates or fractures the vertebrae. There are two kinds of SCI: complete and incomplete. As the word “complete” implies, the victim will lose all feeling below the injury site. In an “incomplete” situation, some functioning still exists below the injury site. Symptoms may include loss of mobility, loss of the ability to feel heat or cold, an intense stinging sensation, difficulty breathing or lack of bladder control, among other signs.
A look at treatment
Treatment that includes medication and prostheses can help regenerate nerve cells or improve the function of undamaged cells. Electrical stimulation by prosthetic devices can restore breathing, bladder or other functions for people who have suffered certain levels of SCI. However, currently, doctors cannot completely reverse spinal cord damage.
Facing the future
Tests used to diagnose a spinal cord injury include CT scans, MRIs, a myelogram X-ray and somatosensory evoked potential testing to find out whether nerve signals can pass through the spinal cord. These expensive tests add to the treatment plan, which, during the first year of injury alone, could range from $300,000 to one million dollars. Rehabilitation for SCI is a long process, one that may last a lifetime. How will you manage if you are the victim of a vehicle accident that left you with a spinal cord injury? This is the time to explore your legal options and rely on an experienced advocate who will work diligently to secure full and fair financial compensation on your behalf.