Spinal Cord Injury

Your spine serves a multitude of purposes. It both supports and allows the movement of your frame. It provides a support structure for the rib cage, which protects your heart and lungs. It allows you to stand erect. But most importantly, it encases the spinal cord, an essential part of your nervous system. Even slight damage to the spinal cord is considered a traumatic injury.

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury in California, please contact the Law Offices of Mickey Fine online or by calling (661) 333-3333 today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights. Attorney Fine serves all of California from his offices in Bakersfield and Manhattan Beach.

Injuries to the Spine

Your spine is comprised of individual vertebra. Between these vertebras are intervertebral discs. Boney knobs called facet joints connect the vertebra to support flexibility of the spine.

Vertebra are hollow, allowing the spinal cord to run the length of your spine. The cord itself is protected by dura mater, a water tight sack that keeps the cord, nerve endings, and spinal cord fluid in place.

When you sustain injury to the vertebra or discs, such as a whiplash injury, you may experience tingling, numbness, or a temporary loss of movement or function. However, treatment for these injuries may require little more than immobilization followed by an epidural or injections of cortisone. Sadly, events such as motor vehicle accidents often result in damage to the cord from which full recovery may be impossible.

Spinal cord injuries caused by medical errors are also very common. These injuries are especially alarming since they should have been preventable if the medical professional had taken necessary care.

Levels of SCI

The severity of a spinal cord injury will depend on where the vertebrae are damaged and how complete that damage is. If the spine is injured but not severed, some forms of rehabilitation may allow for a restoration of certain functions. However, if the spine is completely damaged or the cord is severed, the consequences of the injury will likely be permanent.

Lumbar & Sacral Spine

The lumbar and sacral spine are the lower parts of the cord. Damage to this area may result in:

  • Loss of function in the hips and legs
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Loss of sexual function

Damages to these lower areas are not typically as serious as those occurring higher up the spinal cord, but they may require adaptive technologies such as a wheelchair or leg braces for mobility.

Thoracic Spine

The thoracic spine is the middle portion of the cord. Damage to this area may result in all of the complications that accompany lumbar and sacral injuries along with:

  • Inability to control breathing muscles
  • Paraplegia

With this type of spinal cord injury, adaptive technology will be necessary for mobility and may be required to assist with breathing.

Loss of FunctionCervical Spine

Damage to the cervical spine comes with the most severe complications. An injury to this portion of the spine may result in the same complications as damage to the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral, in addition to:

  • Loss of function in the arms, wrists, and hands
  • Difficulties speaking
  • Quadriplegia

This type of spinal cord injury often necessitates home care and constant monitoring of vitals to prevent a loss of life.

Symptoms of SCI

While many spinal cord injuries produce immediate symptoms, it is possible for there to be a delay between injury and loss of function. This makes it particularly important that you seek medical assistance following any accident in which the spine may have been impacted. If caught before symptoms occur, SCI may be treatable with traction.

Immediately following an accident, symptoms of spinal cord injury that indicate an emergency include:

  • Paralysis
  • Numbness or a loss of sensation in the hands, fingers, or toes
  • Significant back pain
  • Pressure in the back, neck, or head
  • Difficulties balancing, standing, or walking
  • Breathing difficulties

Symptoms that may be delayed include:

  • Loss of sensation, including feeling heat and cold
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Bowel or bladder control issues
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Chronic back pain or stinging sensations along the spinal cord
  • Expelling clear fluids from the lungs

These symptoms may take time to develop, but if they occur following an accident, they should be brought to the attention of a trusted medical professional immediately.

Recovery from spinal cord injury often relies on swift intervention. If you are diagnosed with spinal cord injury following an accident, Bakersfield personal injury attorney Mickey Fine can take your case and help you get the compensation you will need to make the best recovery possible.

Spinal Cord Rehabilitation, Recovery, and Prognosis

Rehabilitation After Spinal InjuryWhen you suffer a spinal cord injury, complete recovery may be impossible. Depending on the level of your spinal cord injury, rehabilitation may be more like retraining as you learn to use adaptive technologies, accommodate to new home modifications, and learn to live with a permanent loss of function. Even when this is not the case, you need an experienced California injury attorney on your side immediately following your accident to ensure you are provided the full compensation you deserve.

Even in cases where complete spinal cord injury prevents recovery, a team of medical experts will be needed to ensure the most effective rehabilitation. This may include:

  • Physicians
  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Pain specialists

The combined costs associated with services from these professionals can be staggering – and still only comprise a small portion of the economic and noneconomic damages caused by SCI.

In addition to medical expenses, victims of spinal cord injury may be unable to work, incur costs for home modifications, and require round the clock assistive care. California injury attorney Mickey Fine is prepared to take your case as far as needed to fight for fair compensation and help ensure these and all related expenses and damages are covered in full.

If you are in need of a California spinal cord injury attorney, please call (661) 333-3333 today. Mickey Fine has over 25 years of experience helping victims of SCI get justice. He welcomes an opportunity to meet with you free of cost and obligation to help you better understand your rights, your options, and the best way to get the total compensation you are due.