Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. The spine is one of the most critical parts of the body. It is made up of numerous bony vertebrae that run from the base of the skull all the way down to the pelvis. These vertebrae protect the spinal cord, which is a network of delicate nerves and fibers. These nerves allow people to transmit motor signals to various parts of the body. The nerves also provide sensory function, including pain, temperature, and pressure. If these nerves are damaged, it could lead to permanent loss of function. Some vital statistics regarding spinal cord injury include:

  • There are over 12,000 new spinal cord injuries every year.
  • A spinal cord injury mostly occurred in car accidents and falls.
  • On average, someone spends 11 days in the hospital following damage to their spinal cord.
  • The hospital stay is then followed by over a month in rehab.
  • Severe spinal cord injuries can cost over $1 million in the first year following the injury.
  • Someone who suffers a spinal cord injury often has trouble maintaining employment. Only 12 percent of individuals with a spinal cord injury are employed during the first year after the injury.

Spinal cord injuries also increase the likelihood of chronic medical conditions. Examples include chronic pain, osteoporosis, and depression. These are even more likely if someone is paralyzed as a result of the injury.

A Research Study: Age Distribution of Spinal Cord Injuries

A medical institution recently conducted a thorough review of their medical records, looking to see who was most at risk of suffering a traumatic injury to the spinal cord. They divided the patients who had undergone spinal cord injuries by age. They found that two different groups of people were more likely than others to sustain a spinal injury. The first group was teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29. Even though these individuals were otherwise healthy, they still suffered spinal cord injuries at a disproportionately higher rate than others. The second group with a high rate of spinal cord injuries was senior citizens. Specifically, individuals aged 65 or older suffered fractures of the spine at a higher rate than their younger counterparts. This was mainly because their bones start to degrade with old age. If these individuals also had osteoporosis, they were even more likely to injure their spine.

Results: Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

The two age groups most at risk of suffering an injury to the spine are teenagers/young adults and the elderly. Researchers looked to see if there was a difference in the causes of spinal cord injuries between these two groups. The younger age group primarily suffered spinal cord injuries because of fall injuries. Examples include:

  • Skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports
  • ATV accidents
  • Cliff-jumping
  • Skateboarding
  • Falls from a great height
  • Contact sports

The older group was more likely to sustain a spinal injury in an auto accident. As people age, their reflexes start to slow. Because of this, older people take longer to react to a stop sign, a red light, or changing traffic conditions. This makes senior citizens more likely to wind up in a car crash. Furthermore, because their bodies are often more fragile, they are more likely to be injured in these auto accidents, including an injury to the spine.

What to Do with an Injury to the Spine

If someone is worried that they have suffered an injury to the spine, they should seek medical care as quickly as possible. Nerves are less likely to regenerate and heal than other parts of the body. Often, damage to the nerves is permanent. Medical professionals will quickly evaluate the injury and perform imaging if they feel that it is necessary. Once an injury has been diagnosed, treatment can begin. This could require a trip to the operating room for emergency surgery. After this, people often enter rehabilitation where they will work on regaining their muscle strength and coordination.

Trust a Legal Advisor

After an injury has been diagnosed and treated, it is essential to take a step back and look at why the injury occurred in the first place. This is where the help of an experienced car accident attorney in Sacramento can be valuable. You may have seen legal advertisements on billboards or heard on the radio that promises the best results possible. The reality is that nobody can promise anything when it comes to a legal case. However, I can guarantee that I will fight my hardest for justice on behalf of you and your family.

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Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, contact me for free, friendly advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.

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