Understanding the basics of spinal cord injuries | Bradley, Drendel & Jeanney
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Understanding the basics of spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries can have many causes, such as a sports injury or a car crash. Unfortunately, such accidents can be caused by another person's negligence. It is important for victims of spinal cord injuries in Nevada to understand about their injury, particularly if they are seeking compensation from the person responsible for their injury.

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a heavy blow to a person's spine. This can cause the person's vertebrae to dislocate or fracture, or cause ligaments in the spinal cord tissue to tear or bruise. A spinal cord injury can destroy the nerve cells in the spinal cord that carry information between the victim's brain and the rest of the victim's body. While sometimes a person is able to recover from a spinal cord injury, other times a spinal cord injury will cause a person to be paralyzed.

When a person suffers a spinal cord injury, doctors will determine whether it is incomplete or complete. If a spinal cord injury is incomplete, this means the victim does not completely lose their sensory or motor skills in the area of their body below where they were injured. However, a complete injury means that a person has completely lost their sensory or motor skills in the area of their body below where they were injured. A complete injury can be accompanied by ongoing pain, bowel and bladder difficulties, heart problems and breathing issues.

There are ways to treat a spinal cord injury that will hopefully minimize the damage it causes. Over 30 percent of those who suffer a neck injury will need respiratory support. Certain steroid drugs can help in these situations if the victim receives them within eight hours of being injured. In some cases, electrical stimulation can also help restore a victim's bodily functions such as breathing, movements of the extremities or bladder function. Finally, physical therapy and rehabilitation can help not only with physical healing, but can also provide the victim with much-needed emotional support.

Spinal cord injuries are expensive, particularly when they are the result of accidents that cause paralysis. Because of this, many individuals who suffer a spinal cord injury due to another person's negligence may want to pursue a lawsuit. Having a good understanding of their injuries can have a big impact on one's ability to seek financial recovery.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "NINDS Spinal Cord Injury Information Page," accessed Feb. 21, 2015

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