Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
The spinal cord is an extension of the brain. It extends from the bottom of the brain, down the neck, to the midback. At this level, the spinal cord forms a group of nerve fibers that looks like a horse’s tail and is called the “cauda equina” (Latin for horse’s tail). The average spinal cord is 18” long and 5/8” wide. The spinal cord is like a telephone cable with long tracts of nerve wires that go up and down the length of the spinal cord receiving and sending signals to and from the body.
The long tracts of nerves that go up and down the spinal cord carry signals from our skin and muscles to the brain, while the long tracts of nerves that go down the spinal cord carry signals away from the brain to our muscles and skin. These long tracts of nerves, inside the spinal cord, allow us to move our arms and legs and feel sensations in our skin.
Damage to the nerves of the long tracts inside the spinal cord from car, truck and motorcycle accidents is the cause for spinal cord injuries.
Alan, age 22, was in a terrible Arlington, Virginia auto accident leaving him paralyzed for life.
Paraplegia injury to the spinal cord in the area of the mid to low back results in paralysis of the legs and is called “paraplegia” requiring the injured person to be a prisoner to his wheelchair for life without the ability to move his legs.
Quadriplegia injury to the spinal cord in the area of the neck and upper back results in paralysis of both the arms and the legs and is called “quadriplegia.” The injured person is a prisoner of his wheelchair for life without the ability to move either his arms or legs.
When a person suffers a spinal cord injury, paraplegia or quadriplegia, all aspects of his/her life change forever. It is overwhelming. Ordinary body functions are no longer the same. Common complications of spinal cord injury (SCI) include:
- Loss of Bladder Control
- Loss of Bowel Control
- Loss of Skin and Sensory Feeling
- High Blood Pressure and Blot Clots
- Impaired Breathing
- Flaccid or Spastic Muscles
- Muscle Atrophy
- Decrease in Sexual Function
Alexandria personal injury attorney Gerald Schwartz has been representing people injured in serious car accidents from Arlington to Fredericksburg for 30 years. He is a leader of Virginia accident lawyers having served as Past President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.
If you or a family member have suffered a spinal cord injury, contact Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Gerald Schwartz for a free consultation at 1-800-423-0055 to learn your rights.