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What are the consequences of spinal cord injury?

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have spinal cord injuries. As with so many other kinds of injuries, motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of spinal cord injury. Any West Virginian who has suffered this kind of injury understands the debilitating and life-altering effects that go along with it.

What are some of the consequences of spinal cord injury? The spinal cord carries vital information from the brain to other parts of the body. Thus, when a person suffers damage to their spinal cord, that crucial flow of information is impeded. In general, this typically means that areas of the body that are below the injured part of the spine will not function as they did before the injury. The degree by which that function is diminished depends on the severity of the injury and particular nerve fibers that suffer damage.

Doctors use a number of different classifications for spinal cord injuries, based on the location on the spine of the injury. They can then predict the level of paralysis or loss of sensation that the injured person will experience, based on the classification of the injury. Although patients can expect some level of recovery within six months of a spinal cord injury, some degree of permanent disability is usually one of the results.

Regardless of the cause, people with spinal cord injuries suffer a variety of difficult consequences. However, when this kind of an injury is a result of someone else's negligence, financial devastation should not be one of those consequences. Victims and their family members are entitled to pursue a negligent party for damages related to a spinal cord injury accident.

Source: BrainandSpinalCord.org, "Spinal Cord Injury," Accessed on Jan. 2, 2015

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