What Happens If Your Spinal Cord Is Severed?
Certain body parts serve a more central function than others, and the consequences can be more severe if you suffer an injury to these areas. If you are in an accident and suffer from a severed spinal cord, you can develop lifelong complications and disability. You may have to receive significant rehabilitative treatment and may not be able to perform the same functions as you did prior to the injury. In the event of any spinal cord injury, you should contact a Kansas City spinal cord injury lawyer after speaking with your doctor.
Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back, and assists with significant body functions. These nerves send messages between your body and your brain, helping you move and perform daily tasks. When the spinal cord suffers an injury during an accident, you can experience significant damage.
There are two main types of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete. Complete injuries lead to total, permanent damage below the injury and a loss of sensation and motion. Incomplete injuries do not have the same impact; instead, you may retain some sensation and motion below the injury.
However, when an accident severs your spinal cord, you will experience a complete spinal cord injury. Your body will not be able to communicate with your brain below the injury. As a result, you will lose all sensation, motion, and function below the injury.
The severing of the spinal cord in different places along the spinal column lead to different impacts on the body. For example, severing near the hips will often lead to total paralysis in both legs, while severing in the neck or upper back can lead to difficulty breathing and swallowing, as well as arm paralysis.
Are Severed Spinal Cord Injuries Common?
While all spinal cord injuries are severe and often have lasting impacts, not all injuries result in a severed spinal cord. Most spinal cord injuries, in fact, are incomplete injuries. While you may have difficulty moving or feeling below the injury, you may retain some ability to communicate between your brain and body. In addition, not all complete injuries are due to severing – complete spinal cord injuries often occur due to bruising, swelling, and inflammation.
Can You Recover From a Severed Spinal Cord?
If you are suffering from a severed spinal cord, the chances of recovering any sensation or motion below the injury are very slim. Depending on the level of your injury, however, your doctor may recommend a number of rehabilitative treatments to help you strengthen your body and potentially regain some skills and strength.
For example, your doctor may prescribe you anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and further injury. You may undergo surgical treatments and inpatient rehabilitative services. After your initial round of treatments, your doctor may prescribe outpatient physical and occupational therapy, as well as psychological help.
Financially, severed spinal cords can lead to significant expenses. Emotionally, these injuries are very likely to have an impact on how you live your life and experience the world. It can be difficult to recover from these impacts as well.
However, you could claim compensation for your losses through a spinal cord injury lawsuit or insurance, depending on the cause of your injury. If you suffered a severed spinal cord in an accident that someone else caused, you may be able to claim the following damages in your lawsuit.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Mobility equipment and home accommodations
- Lost wages and loss of future earning ability
- Disability and loss of quality of life
- Chronic pain and emotional suffering
A severed spinal cord is a severe injury that has lasting implications. You may have to pay for ongoing medical care, as well as reduce your working capacity and adjust to motion limitations. Because of the huge impact a severed spinal cord can have on your life, you may be able to collect financial compensation for your injuries. Speak to a Kansas City personal injury attorney about your injury claim to see if you qualify.