Spinal cord injuries can adversely affect the rest of a victim’s life. Our reputable attorneys are standing by, ready to help.
In general terms, spinal cord injury (SCI) is defined as damage to any portion of the spinal cord. The spinal cord is essentially a bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, accomplished by providing the main passageway for electrical messages to be delivered. Injury to the spinal cord is a very different type of injury from a back injury, such as a pinched nerve or a ruptured disc. Whereas a simple back injury may cause the victim pain and discomfort, a spinal cord injury will often result in a lack of mechanical function and partial or complete loss of feeling. A common misconception about spinal cord injuries is that the spinal cord must be severed in order for the victim to experience any ill effects. The truth is that most of the 450,000 people in the United States struggling with an SCI have not severed their spinal cord, yet they still suffer loss of function from the damage.
There are two main classifications of SCI: complete and incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury results in complete loss of function below the level of the injury symmetrically on both sides of the body. An incomplete spinal cord injury differs in that there is some functioning below the level of the injury; often unsymmetrical, resulting in the victim having feeling in one side of the body and not the other. Incomplete spinal cord injuries are becoming increasingly common with constant improvements in the medical and technology fields.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries in Oklahoma fall into two major categories; those caused by trauma and those caused by disease. Of the approximately 10,000 new cases of SCI per year, 82% are trauma-induced spinal cord injuries involving males between the ages of 16-30. The main contributors to this type of spinal cord injury include automobile accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, sports injuries, falls and violence. The main diseases that cause spinal cord injury are spina bifida, polio, Friedreich’s Disease and Ataxia.
Currently there is no cure for SCI. However this does not mean that there is no hope for the victims. Often the spinal cord is swollen upon the initial injury, which typically results in some loss of function. This swelling will usually subside after a few days or up to a few weeks, after which some function is often recovered. There are also some cases in which the victim will experience some level of recovery months or even years after the injury, although this is rare. If you or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another person or party, contact our experienced attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today.