People who are involved in accidents, including those with motor vehicles and motorcycles, can suffer from spinal cord injuries. This is a scary time for these individuals because of the major impacts it can have on their abilities. The most serious cases can lead to catastrophic damages or fatalities.
Spinal cord injuries can impact patients in various ways, but there are some predictors that determine how they will affect a person. The location of the injury plays a critical role in what the victim might have to live with after the motor vehicle accident.
Location of the injury
Typically, higher level injuries produce more serious impacts. Effects involve portions of the body that are lower than the site of the injury. A person who has a neck injury can face quadriplegia. If it is a higher disc on the cervical spine, usually above C4, the person might be ventilator-dependent because they won’t be able to control their breathing. An injury at C5 might mean you can’t control your wrist or hand, while a C-6 injury could mean that you can’t use your hand but have some use of the wrist.
Most people with a thoracic level injury will experience paraplegia, but will be able to use their hands. Upper thoracic level injuries can impact your ability to control your trunk due to a lack of use of the abdominal muscles. Lower thoracic level injuries will allow the person to control the trunk, but the hips and legs will be affected.
Injuries to the lumbar area and sacral spinal cord will usually result in decreased movement in the legs. The hip flexors are usually affected.
Any spinal cord injury can lead to some other serious health complications. Low blood pressure and the inability for the body to regulate the blood pressure are possible. There is also a chance that the person will have an inability to sweat below the level of the injury. Some victims also experience a reduction in the body’s ability to control temperature. Constant pain is another possible impact.
Some spinal cord injuries lead to loss of sensation, which can mean that the person might not feel the urge to urinate or defecate. When motor function is impacted, they might become incontinent.
Victims who have to deal with these impacts may be on a constant quest to find relief. This can be a costly endeavor. They might choose to seek compensation from the entity liable for the accident that led to their injury in California.