Charlotte Spinal Cord Injury FAQs

Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis, paraplegia, or quadriplegia. These medical conditions can result in serious financial losses, emotional losses, mental anguish, and physical pain. Spinal cord injuries can also cause loss of income and mounting medical expenses. In a complete spinal cord injury, the victim will have no voluntary movement or sensation below the level of the injury. However, even an incomplete spinal cord injury can cause tremendous problems and losses.

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our Charlotte personal injury lawyers have extensive experience representing clients with spinal cord injuries. We understand that spinal cord injuries can happen to anyone and often happen due to motor vehicle collisions, work-related accidents, and medical malpractice. We have created a series of frequently asked questions related to spinal cord injuries. We hope that you can learn more about the consequences of spinal cord injuries after reading through our FAQ.

What are the Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are car accidents. However, spinal cord injuries can happen in a wide variety of ways. Most happen because of external trauma to the spine. Non-traumatic injuries can also cause spinal cord injuries, such as blood loss, tumors, or stenosis. The majority of spinal cord injury victims are men and most are between the age of 16 and 30. The following are common causes of spinal cord injuries:

  • Motor vehicle accidents (38%)
  • Falls (30.5%)
  • Violence, mainly from gunshot wounds (13.5%)
  • Sports or recreational injuries (9%)
  • Surgical or medical complications (5%)
  • Other causes/miscellaneous (4%)
What is Paraplegia?

Paraplegia is often referred to as partial paralysis. Paraplegia is a form of paralysis in which a person's ability to function is impeded in the lower extremities. Most people with paraplegia do have healthy legs, but they are unable to move those legs since the spinal cord cannot send and receive signals between the brain and the legs. It is damage to the spinal cord or brain that prohibits signals from transferring from the brain to the person's lower body. When the spinal cord damage happens, the brain and lower body cannot properly send or receive signals.

Paraplegia varies from one person to another person. Some paraplegics struggle with movement below the waist and suffer from a complete lack of sensation. This lack of sensation can range from a tingling feeling or reduced feeling to the legs and waist. Other paraplegic individuals completely lose their ability to feel anything below the waist. Some paraplegic injuries result in the loss of sensation in one or both legs. Doctors need to conduct many different tests to determine the extent of the paraplegia, including blood tests, lumbar punctures, CT scans, and MRIs.

What is Quadriplegia?

Quadriplegia can include a periodic, partial, complete, or incomplete paralysis of both the legs and arms. The primary cause of quadriplegia is a spinal cord injury. The severity of quadriplegia depends on where the spinal cord is injured, and the amount of damage done. With quadriplegia, the neck area of the spinal cord is commonly injured. A major spinal cord injury in the neck will usually impair someone's breathing and movement. Patients with complete quadriplegia do not have the ability to move their neck at all.

Are Spinal Cord Injuries Fatal?

No. In fact, the life expectancy for those who have suffered spinal cord injuries is now longer than ever. With the advances in medical treatment that have occurred in the last few decades, many people with spinal cord injuries will be able to live long lives.

What are the Most Common Complications from Spinal Cord Injuries?

Quadriplegia is severe enough itself. An individual with quadriplegia loses bowel control and the ability to move. Many people with quadriplegia must use a ventilator to breathe. However, many other complications can happen due to spinal cord damage. Those who suffer severe spinal cord injuries can live much longer now than they could in the past. However, living with a spinal cord injury can cause significant complications. Other bodily functions can become negatively impacted or changed over time, including:

  • Bone loss
  • Obesity
  • Pain
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Bladder and bowel disorders
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Pressure sores or ulcers
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Infections
Hiring Our Skilled Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else's negligence or recklessness, our lawyers can help. We have successfully represented many Charlotte clients in personal injury lawsuits. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your initial consultation.

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