Whether you fell from a great height or were injured in a vehicle collision, a spinal cord injury may result in partial or complete paralysis. If your spine was injured in a serious accident, contact an Ohio injury lawyer immediately who can work to set things right.
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One of many important distinctions is whether the spinal cord injury is partial or complete. A complete spinal cord injury means you lose all functioning below the injury location. You will have no feeling or sensation from the point where you were injured on your spine and below. You can suffer a complete injury without the spinal cord being severed. A total loss of function can occur when the spinal cord is severely stretched or crushed. A partial or incomplete spinal cord injury means you may retain some sensation or function below the injury. There is no way to entirely know what you will keep or lose after an injury, and it is impossible to predict how much more feeling or movement you will get back over time.
The Location of the Injury is Critical
The location of a spinal cord injury dictates which parts of your body are affected. If your spinal cord is injured in the cervical region, high up on your spine, then you could loss all or some movement and feeling from your neck downward, including your arms. When all four of your limbs are paralyzed due to the injury, this is known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia. If you are injured in the middle thoracic portion of your spine, you may lose sensation and function from a point on your chest or abdomen downward. You may be able to retain upper body and arm movement. A spinal cord injury in the lower lumbar or sacral region of your spine involves the loss of some or all functioning in your hips and legs.
The Types of Paralysis
If you suffered a spinal cord injury, your main concern is partial or full paralysis. If you lose all or some ability to use your legs, this is known as paraplegia. You may be completely paralyzed from the waist or hips downward or you may only suffer minor mobility and sensory issues. If your injury was relatively minor compared to what is possible, you may have to live with decreased sensation or tingling in your legs from nerve damage.
Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia as it is called by many physicians, is an injury that affects all four of your limbs and torso. Like with all spinal cord injuries, the degree to which you lose the ability to feel and move depends on the extent of your injury. Your spinal cord injury may be so severe that it affects your ability to breathe. It may also be less severe, enabling you to retain some feeling or movement in some parts of your body.
The Physical Consequences of Paralysis
If you suffer from full or partial paralysis, you will have to discuss the lesser known and more sensitive consequences of your injury with your physicians and attorney. This is necessary to fully articulate your injuries and calculating the compensation you deserve.
It is likely that you have lost some or all ability to control your bowel and bladder movements. This can result in constipation and urinary retention or incontinence. You will have to determine a bowel program with your physician to keep your body on a healthy cycle. Common bowel programs combine medications and activities and require you to keep a fairly precise schedule. It is also important to get your bladder under control. Urinary retention and other issues can lead to frequent bladder infections, kidney inflammation or distention, and renal failure. While medications can help with a number of bladder issues, a common way to empty your bladder is through catheterization. An intermittent catheterization program used on a set schedule, such as every four or six hours, may be recommended or you may require a consistent catheter that drains your bladder continuously.
You may have lost the ability to fully participate in or enjoy sex. If you are married, this can have a dramatic impact on your relationship. However, there are medicinal ways to treat male erectile dysfunction and female sex issues. Often, semen and female fertility are not affected by the paralysis making it possible for you to begin or grow your family. It can be embarrassing to discuss with your attorney, though it is necessary. If it helps, rely on your physician’s scientific terminology. We need to know to ensure you seek the compensation you deserve.
Paralysis can cause circulation issues, blood clots, pressure sores, skin issues, infections, and a number of other side effects. When you are unable to routinely exercise parts of your body, other systems and organs can be affected. You will need to work closely with your physicians and care providers to avoid some of these common consequences of paralysis.
Psychological Consequences of Paralysis
In addition to all of the physical changes you are forced to endure because of a spinal cord injury, you may suffer emotionally. As an able-bodied person for most of your life, a sudden traumatic injury results in anger, resentment, grief and other strong emotions. You must go through a grieving process to come to terms with your body’s new limitations and what that means for your future. The inability to live the way you used to can naturally result in depression.
Contact Our Ohio Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers for Help
If you suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by another person’s careless or recklessness, do not hesitate to seek legal advice. At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our capable personal injury attorneys have years of experience representing individuals with minor to severe spinal cord injuries and seeking compensation for them based on both economic and noneconomic factors. Our goal will be to obtain you the maximum compensation possible through an insurance claim or personal injury suit.
Call us today at 1-800-HURT-NOW to learn more.