Ohio Spine Injuries
The spinal cord plays an integral role in the body’s ability to function, so even a minor injury can have devastating consequences. For example, damaging the spinal cord can result in paralysis, difficulty breathing, and extreme pain, all of which can make it difficult, if not impossible, to perform daily tasks or hold down a job. Fortunately, injured parties can collect compensation for their losses by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party, so if you sustained a spine injury in an accident, you should consider contacting an experienced attorney who can help you file a claim.
Defining the Spine
The spine is made up of 26 small bones known as vertebrae, which protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the skull to the lower back and sends messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord can interrupt these signals, resulting in a loss of sensation and mobility.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often the result of significant impacts that compress the spine unnaturally. For this reason, spine injuries are particularly common in car accidents, where traumatic blows can fracture or dislocate the vertebrae. When these pieces of broken bone tear or bruise the spinal cord tissue, the signals being sent by the nerve cells are interrupted, leading to paralysis and reduced mobility. Generally, these types of injuries fall under one of two categories: complete injuries and incomplete injuries. Complete injuries involve a total loss of muscle function and sensation, while incomplete injuries are characterized by a degree of function. Aside from car crashes, falls from great heights, participation in sporting events, and acts of violence are all common causes of spinal cord injuries.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of a spinal cord injury will depend on the severity of the injury, although most victims experience at least some of the following symptoms:
- Extreme pain, pressure, or stiffness in the back or neck area;
- Weakness or paralysis in the limbs;
- Numbness or tingling;
- Loss of bladder control;
- Difficulty balancing; and
- Impaired breathing.
Treating these types of symptoms often requires a patient to undergo surgery, although physicians may first attempt to reduce inflammation by prescribing steroids. Although each surgery is different, many spine surgeries involve the realignment of the vertebrae, the removal of bone fragments that may be damaging the spinal cord, or the fusing of broken bones with metal rods and screws. This in turn helps relieve pressure on the spinal cord and decreases compression, while also stabilizing the vertebrae. Unfortunately, spinal surgery comes with its own set of risks, including muscle spasms, infections, blood clots, chronic pain, and kidney disease. Even after undergoing surgery, many victims remain paralyzed for the rest of their lives.
Call our Toledo Legal Team Today
If you or a loved one sustained a spine injury in an accident, please call Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC at 419-241-5500 to set up a free one-on-one consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case.