Roughly 17,700 Americans suffer a spinal cord injury every year. However, these events rise each year, and new numbers are recorded.
If you or a loved one has found themselves part of this unfortunate statistic, you have taken a large and potentially life-changing step in being diagnosed.
Now, it’s essential that you talk to a specialist doctor, like Dr. Timothy Steel to understand the different types of spinal injuries and what they mean. Keep reading as we discuss these topics, helping you gain a clear picture of your diagnosis.
Incomplete spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord is damaged but is still able to carry some signals from the brain to the body and vice versa, but the transmission of other signals is inhibited or blocked. These injuries can range from mild to severe, but the manifestations of the injury can change from person to person.
Complete injuries are the most serious type of spinal injury and result in a total loss of motion and sensation below the level of the injury. It causes nerve damage, permanent paralysis, and even death.
Common causes of complete spinal injury include motor vehicle collisions, sports-related injuries, slips and falls, gunshot wounds, and diving accidents. Spinal cord treatment depends on the severity and type of injury. It may involve physical therapy, anesthesiology, surgery, medication, and other rehabilitative services designed to help the patient manage pain and regain mobility.
Anterior Cord Injury
An anterior cord injury is a type of spinal cord injury that involves damage to the front or anterior side of the spinal cord. This type of injury is usually associated with hyperflexion or an excessive flexing of the neck and spine, which can occur from a sudden fall or a sudden blow to the head.
It can result in paralysis, loss of motor function, and a lack of sensation.
Central Cord Injury
Central Cord Injury(CCI) is typically caused by a direct blow to the head and results in damage to the vertebral cord.
This results in an individual having difficulties controlling movement and coordination of their arms and hands. Furthermore, they may experience paralysis in these areas, as well as impairments to sex, bladder, or bowel control due to damage to the sensory nerves.
Central Cord Injury is seen most commonly in those who have been involved in high-impact trauma, such as diving or motor vehicle accidents.
Cauda Equina Injury
Cauda equina injury is the most serious type, resulting in damage to the bundle of nerve fibers at the base of the spine that controls the bladder, bowel, and leg functions. Usually caused by a herniated intervertebral disc or spinal stenosis, it may also be caused by trauma or a tumor. Symptoms include pain, weakness, numbness, and loss of sensation in the hips and legs.
Learn These Types of Spinal Injuries
These types of spinal injuries have a number of major impacts on those affected. They can range from mild or temporary conditions to life-long disabilities. While some may require immediate emergency care, others require practical interventions for rehabilitation and restoration of function.
Talk to your local health care provider to learn more about managing and treating spinal injuries.
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