Spinal cord injuries are devastating to accident victims and their families. These injuries can require a lifetime of care depending on their severity. Two factors generally determine the extent of the symptoms experienced with a spinal cord injury: the location of the spinal cord injury and the degree of injury to the vertebrae and spinal cord.
The American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale ranks the degree of injury from A to E. A is deemed a “complete” injury that results in the loss of sensory and motor function in S4-S5 (sacral segments of the spine), and E represents normal sensory and motor function. The majority of spinal cord injury victims are in the C and D range of the scale – retaining some motor function.
The most common types of paralysis experienced by spinal cord injury victims are paraplegia and quadriplegia. With paraplegia, the injured person retains the use of their hands and arms. Quadriplegia is the paralysis of all four limbs. Both of these types of paralysis are caused by the same injury to the spine, but in different locations. Because of the mass of nerves along the spine, injuries to different vertebrae can cause a wide range of different resulting symptoms.
Here are some organizations doing good work to research spinal cord injuries:
- Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center
- Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center
- Reeve-Irvine Research Center
- Spinal Cord Damage Research Center
- Shepherd Center- Spinal Cord Injury Research
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident, please contact our personal injury lawyers in Seattle today at (206) 622-1100. Buckley & Associates, Attorneys at Law, serve clients in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.