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What is tetraplegia?

An injury to a person’s spinal cord can be a life-changing event. Depending upon where the injury occurs along the person’s spinal cord and the severity of the injury the extent of their associated symptoms can vary greatly. This post will address one of the most serious consequences of a spinal cord injury – tetraplegia – and how it may permanently affect the life of a Reno resident.

There are many vertebrae in a person’s spinal cord, divided between those in the cervical spine (upper spine of the neck), thoracic spine (middle spine of the torso), lumbar spine (lower spine of the torso) and sacral spine (from the pelvis and lower). Generally speaking, the higher on the spine that a victim suffers an injury, the more of the victim’s body that will likely be impacted by the damage their spine endured.

For example, when a person suffers an injury to their cervical spine it is possible for all nerve impulses to stop at the point of injury and for no sensations to be sent down to the lower portions of the corpus. When this happens, important bodily functions such as respiration and digestion may be impacted as those body systems are no longer receiving communications from the brain.

Additionally, a high spinal cord injury can cause a victim to lose the ability to use their appendages. When a person cannot move their arms or legs due to a spinal cord injury then they suffer from tetraplegia, also referred to as quadriplegia.

Injuries to the spinal cord can be devastating and can result from vehicle accidents, slips and falls and other cases of negligence. Victims can often seek damages from the parties whose negligence caused their harm through civil personal injury lawsuits.

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