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How Many Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries Are There?

Published on Dec 29, 2020 at 8:06 am in Personal Injury.

spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and change how you live the rest of your life. Whether you become partially or permanently disabled, or if you require treatment and assistance for the rest of your life, you could be dealing with many changes and costs from your spinal cord injury. Even though all you want to do is heal, you shouldn’t be left to cover the costs on your own when the injury wasn’t your fault in the first place.

When you’ve suffered from a spinal cord injury that was the fault of someone else, then you deserve justice for your injury that you didn’t cause. Our Louisville spinal cord injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you recover financially from your injury so you can focus on recovering physically and emotionally.

Spinal Cord Injury Classifications

While there are many different specific types of spinal cord injuries that can occur, all spinal cord injuries fall under two general categories: complete and incomplete. In a complete spinal cord injury, there is permanent damage to the spinal cord. Typically, a complete spinal cord injury results in paraplegia or tetraplegia for the person injured, meaning the person could be left unable to move and feel.

An incomplete spinal cord injury is when there is partial damage done to the spinal cord, so recovery typically has to do with the severity of the injury and the person’s medical history. With incomplete spinal cord injuries, the person who is injured could still be able to move and feel, but it depends on where on the spine the injury is located and the severity.

While those are the two major categories of spinal cord injuries, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) lists different grades of spinal cord injuries that outline the different levels and outcomes. Here are the grades, determined by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA):

  • ASIA A – Complete spinal cord injury with no sensory or motor function.
  • ASIA B – An incomplete spinal cord injury for sensory function but complete for motor function.
  • ASIA C – An incomplete spinal cord injury for motor function, where less than half of muscle groups can move against the force of gravity.
  • ASIA D – An incomplete spinal cord injury for motor function, where over half of the muscle groups can move against the force of gravity.
  • ASIA E – Normal.

AANS also notes that as spinal injuries are more severe, the fewer chances there are that a recovery will occur.

Regions of the Spine and Spinal Cord Injuries

Other than different grades of spinal cord injuries, they can also be classified by the region of the spine that they affect. The different regions and potential outcomes are:

  • Cervical. The seven vertebrae in the neck are known as the cervical part of the spine. The higher the spinal cord injury in the cervical area, the more deadly the injury is. Injuries to this area are usually complete spinal cord injuries and often involve loss of sensory and motor function in the entire body.
  • Thoracic. This is the next section of the spine and contains twelve vertebrae. When a thoracic spinal cord injury occurs, typically, the chest or abdominal areas are affected. If the injury is severe enough, function is lost from the chest or abdomen down, depending on the exact location of the injury.
  • Lumbar. The next section of the spine is the lumbar. When there is a spinal cord injury in these five vertebrae, hip and leg function can be compromised, as well as bowel and bladder control.
  • Sacral. The bottom portion of the spine contains the sacrum and the five nerve portions that correspond to areas on the sacrum that an injury can occur. A sacral spinal cord injury has similar outcomes as a lumbar injury, but patients with a sacral injury usually are still able to walk.

You Can Trust Thomas Law Offices to Represent You

Spinal cord injuries can be debilitating and require your full attention to heal. When your spinal cord injury was the result of an accident or fall that wasn’t your fault, then you shouldn’t have to bear the burden of your medical bills, future medical costs, and any wages you might have lost from missing work or being unable to work.

Our Louisville spinal cord injury lawyer can handle your claim for you while you focus on healing. We understand that you already have enough on your plate, so when you trust us with your case, we will fight our hardest to ensure that you can feel confident in your claim and get the full compensation you deserve. Reach out to us today so that we can get started.