Articles Tagged with spinal injury accidents

Xray-doc-300x200Spinal cord injuries are often thought of as the worst possible injury a person can sustain. The repercussions of an injury to the spinal cord can be catastrophic and can cause paralysis or death. It is common for people to typically associate spinal cord injuries with severe accidents and acts of violence, and while these may be common causes of spinal cord injuries, a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University has revealed that slips and falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. The studied revealed that slips and falls account for nearly 42 percent of spinal cord injuries across the country.

 The researchers revealed that spinal cord injuries are actually on the rise across the United States. While this may shocking news considering the seemingly perpetual betterment of technology and safety procedures our country enjoys, the researchers attributed this trend to the fact that a large portion of new injuries involved the elderly. Thus, they believe the rise in injuries has been due to the aging of the baby-boomer population.

The Result of a Spinal Cord Injury

Xray docSpinal Cord Injury (SCI) happens when the spinal cord is damaged due to a disease of the vertebral column or a traumatic injury to the spinal cord. Most spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord becomes bruised or swollen from the backbone pinching the spinal cord. More serious injuries may actually tear the spinal cord. When injury happens to the spinal cord, the nerves below the injury are unable to send messages between the brain and parts of the body as they did before the injury took place; nerves above the injury, on the other hand, continue working normally.

1. The location of a spinal cord injury is described by medical professionals by referring to the level of the vertebrae supporting the spinal cord. The top of the spinal cord consists of the cervical nerves, which are protected by the C1 through C8 and the T1 vertebrae. Next are the thoracic nerves, which are protected by the T2 through the T12, the lumbar nerves (L1 though L5), and the sacral nerves (S1 through S5).

Because a spinal cord injury affects the nerves below it, injuries higher on the spinal cord affect more bodily functions than lower injuries. An injury located between the C1 and the T1 vertebrae usually causes Tetraplegia (formerly known as quadriplegia) where the damaged cervical nerves affect the head, neck, diaphragm, deltoids, biceps, upper chest, arms and hands. Damage located between T2 and S5 generally causes paraplegia. A paraplegic can have a loss of feeling or not be able to move the chest, stomach, hips, legs and feet. Continue reading →