Signs & Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be devastating for victims and their ability to live a normal life. Often, we find that spinal cord injuries leave a person suffering from either temporary or permanent disabilities. However, there are various levels of spinal cord injuries, and each level will have various signs and symptoms that the victim experiences. These spinal cord injury symptoms will vary heavily based on the severity of the initial injury as well as the effectiveness of the medical care the victim receives.

Symptoms Vary Based on the Severity of the Injury

There are various levels of spinal cord injuries that can occur. When we look at data available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that these injuries are often summarized as quadriplegia and paraplegia, but there are other levels of these injuries and paralysis that a person can sustain. In some cases, a person experiences complete paralysis. For less severe spinal cord injuries, an individual may only experience partial paralysis or even no paralysis at all.

  • Quadriplegia indicates that a person’s entire body is affected from the neck down.
  • Paraplegia indicates that a person’s body is affected from their waist down.
  • Other spinal cord injuries may leave a person with pain and numbness but no paralysis.

Another way that these injuries and symptoms are defined is by looking at whether or not an injury is complete or incomplete. A person who experiences a “complete” spinal cord injury will experience total paralysis below the site of the injury. A person who experiences an “incomplete” spinal cord injury will likely retain some sort of motor and sensory functioning below the area affected.

It is important to understand that these cases have to be examined independently of one another. The overall severity of the symptoms for one person who experiences a spinal cord injury could be completely different from another person with the exact same type of injury.

When we examine the information from the Mayo Clinic, we can see that spinal cord injuries can affect a person for their entire life. This can include not only their physical abilities but also their psychological and emotional well-being.

Short- Versus Long-Term Symptoms

When examining the overall symptoms of spinal cord injuries, we have to differentiate between the emergency symptoms experienced right after an injury occurs from the long-term symptoms of person will experience as they make a recovery and for the rest of their lives. Emergency symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Extreme pain in the area where the injury occurred
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Overall weakness, balance issues, or paralysis in various parts of the body
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Trouble walking
  • Impaired breathing

In the days, weeks, and months that follow spinal cord injury, survivors may experience a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms could be temporary or permanent:

  • Paralysis below the area of the injury
  • Permanent loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Reflex activities or spasms
  • Loss of sensation, including the loss of the sense of touch
  • Pain or stinging in the area around the injury and through the nerves
  • Trouble breathing, coughing or clearing the lungs
  • Permanent loss of fertility or sexual function

Work With an Attorney After Your Injury

If you or somebody you love has sustained a spinal cord injury caused by the actions of another individual in Nashville, contact an injury attorney immediately. A skilled spinal cord injury lawyer in Nashville can help you recover compensation for your losses. They will fully investigate your case, negotiate with aggressive insurance carriers, and fully prepare to take your case to trial if necessary.