Spinal Cord Injuries: A Brief Overview

Each year, approximately 17,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries across the U.S., according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. For people in the Appalachian Region, these injuries may occur due to motor vehicle collisions, job-site accidents, home improvement accidents, work-related accidents, slips and falls, sports accidents or for any other number of reasons. Regardless of their cause, suffering a spinal cord injury is frightening and people often do not understand what it means or what to expect immediately following their injuries and over time.

What are spinal cord injuries?

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves running down the spine, which carries messages back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body. A sudden, traumatic blow may cause the vertebrae to fracture or dislocate. Consequently, pieces of the vertebrae may press down on the spinal cord or tear into or through it.

The severity of spinal cord injuries is classified as incomplete and complete. According to the Mayo Clinic, those who have incomplete spinal cord injuries retain some level of sensory or motor function, while those with complete spinal cord injuries do not.

Common symptoms of spinal cord injuries

People who suffer spinal cord injuries may experience a range of symptoms. The Mayo Clinic points out that some of the most common of these include the following:

  • Pain
  • Weakness or incoordination
  • Strong stinging sensation
  • Loss of movement or feeling
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Difficulty breathing, clearing throat or coughing

The types of signs and symptoms that people experience as a result of spinal cord injuries may vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury.

Complications resulting from spinal cord injuries

The potential for partial or total paralysis and other symptoms are not the only effects of spinal cord injuries. Due to the injuries themselves or their resulting signs, people may also suffer from other long-term complications. For example, changes in bladder control may contribute to the development of kidney stones, bladder stones or kidney infections, as well as an increased risk for urinary tract infections. These injuries may also make people more susceptible to developing blood clots, pressure sores, or other serious conditions. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, those who suffer spinal cord injuries may be more likely to suffer heart and respiratory problems.


Our firm understands the repercussions of a serious accident. If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you should not have to fight the uphill battle for compensation on your own. When you hire Ferrell & Brown, you are hiring a devoted, caring, and aggressive team who will tenaciously fight for you. If you or someone you know was injured in a wreck and wishes to schedule a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact Ferrell & Brown.

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