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Acute Spinal Cord Injuries

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What Is An Acute Spinal Cord Injury?

The bones of the spine are referred to as vertebrae. The spinal cord runs down the center of these bones and is enclosed within a canal. The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that transmits information between the brain and other parts of the body for movement and sensation.

A traumatic blow, which bruises, partially tears, or completely rips the spinal cord, results in an acute spinal cord injury (SCI). Children and adults are very susceptible to SCI.

What Causes An Acute Spinal Cord Injury?


SCI can be caused by a variety of factors. The following are examples of more common conditions:

  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents (automobiles, motorcycles, and being struck as a pedestrian)
  • Sports injuries
  • Diving accidents
  • Trampoline accidents
  • Work related injuries
  • Infections that form an abscess on the spinal cord
  • Birth injuries, which typically affect the spinal cord in the neck area

What Are The Risk Factors For Acute Spinal Cord Injury?


SCI can affect anybody at any age. The average age of injury has risen over the last few decades and is now 42 years old. 

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What Are The Symptoms Of An Acute Spinal Cord Injury?

The symptoms of an acute SCI can differ greatly. The location of the damage on the spinal cord determines which part of the body is affected and how severe the symptoms are.

A spinal cord injury may cause your spine to be in shock. This results in a loss or diminution of sensation, muscle movement, and reflexes. Other symptoms might develop depending on the site of the damage as swelling begins to decrease.

The severity of the symptoms generally increases as the injury gets higher up in the spinal cord. An injury to the neck, upper two vertebrae of the spinal column (C1, C2), or mid-cervical vertebrae (C3, C4, and C5) affects breathing muscles and respiratory function. A lower injury to the lumbar vertebrae may result in bladder, bowel, and leg nerve and muscle control as well as sexual function impairment.

  • Quadriplegia is loss of function in the arms and legs.
  • Paraplegia is loss of function in the legs and lower body.

Damage to the spinal cord is classified as complete or incomplete according to its extent.

  • A complete injury is one in which there is no feeling or movement below the site of the hurt.
  • An incomplete injury implies that there is still sensation or movement below the level of the damage.

The following are the most frequent symptoms of a spinal cord injury that is in its early stages:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of voluntary muscle movement in the chest, arms, or legs
  • Breathing problems
  • Loss of feeling in the chest, arms, or legs
  • Loss of bowel and bladder function

SCI signs and symptoms might be mistaken for those of other diseases or issues.

How Are Acute Spinal Cord Injuries Diagnosed?


Acute SCI is a medical emergency that calls for an urgent examination. Every time there’s a suspicion of spinal cord trauma, an emergency evaluation is required.

An SCI’s symptoms may not be immediately apparent. A complete medical examination and tests are required. The diagnosis of a spinal cord injury begins with a physical examination and diagnostic testing. The health care provider will inquire about your medical history and how the damage happened during the evaluation. Following a spinal cord injury, you may suffer from neurological disorders that will require additional medical attention. Surgery is sometimes required to stabilize the spinal cord after an acute SCI.

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • X-ray. The technique of using invisible electromagnetic energy beams to create pictures of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film is known as endomicroscopy.
  • A computed tomography scan (also known as a CT or CAT scan) is an X-ray examination that uses computer technology and radiation to create detailed pictures (typically called slices) of the body. A CT scan captures pictures of any portion of the body, including bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans provide greater detail than X-rays.
  • MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is another option. This test uses large magnets, radio waves, and a computer to create detailed pictures of organs and structures inside the body.

How Is An Acute Spinal Cord Injury Treated?


The SCI policy covers every person involved in an accident or injury. Following a traumatic experience, your head and neck will be immobilized to prevent movement for your safety. When you’re scared or in shock after a bad collision, this might be quite tough.

The goal of acute spinal cord injury care is to return you to an as normal life as possible.

  • Age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the SCI
  • Type of SCI
  • How you respond to initial treatment
  • The expected course of the SCI
  • Your opinion or preference

There is presently no way to cure a damaged or injured spinal cord. Researchers are now actively looking for ways to promote spinal cord regeneration, although there is currently no technique for repairing it. The degree of the SCI and the site in which it was sustained determine whether it’s mild, severe, or deadly.

Spinal cord injuries are often treated with surgery, which may include everything from evaluating the injured spinal cord to bracing fractured backbones and relieving pressure in the afflicted region. Your therapy may entail:

  • Observation and medical management in the intensive care unit (ICU)
  • Medicines, such as corticosteroids (to help decrease the swelling in the spinal cord)
  • Mechanical ventilator, a breathing machine (to help you breathe)
  • Bladder catheter. A tube that is placed into the bladder helps to drain urine into a collection bag.
  • Feeding tube (placed through the nostril to the stomach, or directly through the abdomen into the stomach, to provide extra nutrition and calories)

Long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation are often required following a spinal cord injury. Nurses, therapists (physical, occupational, or speech), and other specialists work together to treat your pain and track your heart function, blood pressure, body temperature, nutrition status, bladder and bowel function, as well as spasticity.

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Can Acute Spinal Cord Injuries Be Prevented?


There is no way to guarantee that you won’t experience a SCI due to accidental injury, but there are a number of things you can do to decrease your risk, including:

  • When you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, don’t drive.
  • While in a vehicle, always use a seat belt.
  • Take measures to prevent falls in your home.
  • Keep firearms unloaded and locked away.
  • Wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle or participating in any sports or activities that may result in head injury (bike riding, skiing, hockey, football, etc)
Living With An Acute Spinal Cord Injury

The consequences of a SCI can be a long and difficult road to recovery. Long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation are often required. Physical therapy is likely to be an important component of your rehabilitation. Specialists will work with you to prevent muscular wasting and contractures, as well as assist you in retraining other muscles to aid in mobility and movement. Occupational therapy is one kind of treatment that aims to help you learn new methods for accomplishing everyday activities despite your new physical limitations.

Traumatic occurrences that result in a SCI are both emotionally and financially draining for you and your family. After hospitalization and rehabilitation, the healthcare team will assist in educating your family on how to provide care for you at home while also explaining the specifics of any issues that demand immediate medical attention.

After hospitalization and rehabilitation, you will require frequent medical checkups and testing to track your progress.

You might feel miserable or down after suffering an accident. If you or a loved one is experiencing this, your doctor may advise that you see a mental health professional. Antidepressants and psychotherapy (also known as “talk therapy”), which are both accessible to help with depression, are two options.

When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider?


Depending on the severity of the damage, some individuals may recover some of their lost function, while others may experience long-term difficulties. Make sure to discuss with your doctor when you should contact them.

If any difficulties you are having get worse, such as weakness, numbness, or other changes in sensation, or changes in bladder or bowel control, contact your healthcare provider.

Spinal cord injuries can also cause a variety of other issues in certain people. If you have difficulties such as:

  • Skin sores or infections
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever, cough, or other signs of infection
  • Severe headache
  • Not urinating regularly or having severe diarrhea or constipation
  • Severe muscle cramps or spasms
  • Increasing pain


We Fight For Spinal Cord Injury Victims

The last thing on your mind after suffering a spinal cord injury in an accident should be attempting to handle your medical bills and legal process on your own. We are here to assist you with all of the facts of a spinal injury and any associated claim that may be filed on your behalf. It’s critical to choose an attorney who has dealt with similar situations before regardless of the cause of the spinal injury.

At Spinal Injury Lawyers of Texas, we have years of legal experience under our belts to properly assist you through this difficult moment. Time restrictions do exist; the sooner you submit your claim, the better.  Depending on the severity, spinal cord injuries are notoriously difficult to prove in court. As a result, it’s critical to acquire all of the information first. Let us evaluate your case and provide you with a free consultation and case evaluation.

Concentrate on your recovery and let us handle the legal side of things. You may schedule a free consultation and case evaluation by calling Spinal Injury Texas at (888) 309-3998 or completing an online contact form. No fees unless we recover compensation for you.  

The Time to Act is Now 


Act now for a free consultation from our top-rated legal  team to discuss any rights or compensation that you may be entitled.

We will fight to get the maximum compensation owed to you for your injuries and losses.

Complete The Form Or Call – (888) 308-3998

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