According to the Shepherd Center, there are an estimated 17,500 individuals who are newly diagnosed with a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year here in Oklahoma and elsewhere in the United States. All but 19% of the newly diagnosed patients are men. Many of these indivduals’ injuries happen while they’re playing sports, during falls, in car crashes or as a result of violence. Those patients that are diagnosed with SCIs experience varying degrees of impairment depending on the severity of their condition.
An individual who breaks their back or neck does not necessarily also suffer an SCI.
A patient that has been diagnosed with an SCI may experience long-term loss of feeling, mobility and function both at the injury site and below it depending on how severely severed their spinal cord is.
There are two primary types of SCIs: incomplete and complete ones.
A patient who is diagnosed with an incomplete SCI generally continues to experience some sensations in or continued functionality of one or both of their limbs below the level of the injury. Many patients experience improved functionality of their limbs on one side of their body versus another.
Patients who are diagnosed with complete SCIs experience a lack of sensation and functioning on both sides of their body below the injury site.
There’s a direct connection between where the injury occurs and the type of SCI that an individual is likely to suffer from.
A person who injures their neck is likely to become a quadriplegic. A patient may experience diminished functioning of their hand, wrist, the bicep or shoulder function or breathing depending on where the injury occurred.
Anyone who suffers a lower cervical or upper thoracic injury may experience dexterity problems that particularly affect their fingers and hands.
Individuals who suffer upper thoracic spine generally experience difficulty with controlling their abdominal muscles and rear ends as well. Individuals with sacral or lumbar SCIs struggle with controlling their legs and hip flexors.
There’s no one way to classify SCIs. Injuries may vary from one person to the next. The medical care that a patient receives following an injury can be costly but can also greatly affect a person’s long-term prognosis. A personal injury attorney in Tusla can help you secure the compensation that you need now and in the future to get the best medical care that you need given your newfound set of circumstances.