Spinal cord injuries often develop due to car accidents, gun violence, sporting events and various medical traumas and diseases. The Bronx borough of New York City often sees more than its share of this country’s 4.5 million annual car accidents that result in spinal cord injuries, broken bones and body lacerations.
Useful descriptions of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) and how they’re generally classified is set forth below – along with information about the physical paralysis that can follow. Further material is then set forth about the most common types of medical complications that SCI survivors must battle while undergoing rehabilitation and trying to heal. For more on this subject or to discuss a specific case, seek the counsel of an experienced Bronx spinal cord injury attorney with our injury team.
Types of Paralysis
Complete and incomplete SCIs – and the two most basic forms of paralysis
- Complete vs. incomplete spinal cord injuries. What frequently determines how long it may take someone to recover from a spinal cord injury is the exact location and severity of the injury. Doctors must also determine if the patient has suffered a “complete” or “incomplete” spinal cord injury. A “complete” SCI is one that causes a person to lose all sensory feeling and the ability to control bodily movements (motor functions) below the actual SCI. However, if a patient is still able to experience some sensory sensations and control movements below the body level of the spinal cord injury, then the SCI is classified as “incomplete” There are obviously many degrees of loss associated with incomplete SCIs.
- Types of paralysis often caused by spinal cord injuries.
- Tetraplegia. This type of paralysis (also often referred to as quadriplegia), means that the patient’s legs, arms, hands, trunk and pelvic organs have all been affected by the SCI.
- Paraplegia. This form of paralysis mainly affects a person’s legs, trunk and pelvic organs.
The treating doctor and other healthcare workers will run tests to help determine the full extent of each patient’s neurological losses and the completeness of the injury.
Common Medical Complications
Common medical complications that patients suffer due to their original SCI’s
Before reviewing some of these complications, it’s important to note that the central nervous system is made up of the spinal cord and the brain. When any major force crushes, fractures, dislocates or compresses some of the spinal cord vertebrae – sensitive messages can no longer be sent from the brain to the spinal cord to move different limbs. Furthermore, SCIs can take away sensations of pain, heat, cold and pressure.
Here’s a list of other complications that SCI patients must often battle on a regular basis and a Bronx spinal cord injury attorney can help with.
- Bladder problems. Although the bladder can still fill up with urine after most SCI accidents, the brain may no longer be able to send the proper signals to help control the bladder’s output of urine. For this reason, many SCI patients struggle with kidney, bladder and urinary tract infections.
- Blood circulation issues. These may appear in the form of low blood pressure when the patient stands up or when there’s swelling in different extremities. An SCI patient may also become more likely to develop blood clots, a pulmonary embolus or deep vein thrombosis. Other SCI patients develop life-threatening spikes in their blood pressure.
- Bowel control problems. Even though the intestines and stomach may keep working like they did before the SCI, patients often have problems controlling when they have bowel movements.
- Respiratory system issues. Some SCI patients discover that they can no longer easily control their abdominal and chest muscles – causing them breathing and coughing difficulties. These patients’ problems with their diaphragms and muscles in their chest walls often heighten their challenges.
- Pain control. Your doctors must help you find ways to manage your pain through both exercise and limited use of painkillers. SCI patients who’ve suffered incomplete injuries tend to report more frequent pain sensations;
- Overall fitness, loss of muscle tone and general wellness issues. Limp muscles can develop after an SCI – or overreactive ones that may cause limbs to move in a rather spastic manner. Rehabilitation workers can help patients learn to better manage these symptoms. Many SCI patients also tend to lose weight and develop muscle atrophy. A dietician can help patients develop a healthy diet and weight.
- Depression. It’s always wise to obtain long-term talking therapy after incurring any spinal cord injury because it’s hard to confront many new physical limitations. If your treating hospital doesn’t provide a support group for people with SCIs or paralysis, be sure to ask them to start one since it’s always helpful to meet others who understand your daily battles.
Consulting With a Bronx Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If you’ve suffered a serious spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party, be sure to contact your Bronx spinal cord injury lawyers. We’ll meet with you to learn all about the facts of your case and then use our strong experience in this field to try and obtain the maximum damages available to compensate you for your many losses.
Our law firm handles truck accident matters throughout Bronx County including the neighborhoods of the South Bronx, Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Kingsbridge, Marble Hill, Norwood, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, University Heights, Woodlawn, Bathgate, East Tremont, Claremont, Concourse, Hunts Point, Highbridge, Longwood, Melrose, Morrisania, Mott Haven, The Hub, Tremont, West Farms, Allerton, Baychester, Bronxdale, City Island, Co-op City, Eastchester, Edenwald, Olinville, Morris Park, Pelham Gardens, Pelham Parkway, Van Nest, Williamsbridge, Bronx River, Castle Hill, Clason Point, Country Club, Harding Park, Parkchester, Pelham Bay, Soundview, Schuylerville, Throggs Neck, Unionport, and Westchester Square.