Spinal injuries are an often catastrophic result of accidents: motor vehicle accidents; truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents and; work accidents. It is important that victims of accidents and their personal injury attorneys are aware of the many types of spinal injuries that may occur. Accident victims need to seek immediate medical attention whenever an injury to the back or neck occurs.
Quadriplegia is one of the most tragic and difficult spinal injuries. It occurs when there is an injury to any of the seven (7) cervical vertebra above the first thoracic vertebrae and the spinal cord is severed from the shoulder and neck area. This injury can result not only in loss of feeling and function of the arms and legs, but also severe pain, loss of bladder control, bowel control, muscle spasm, sexual dysfunction, loss of fertility as well as shortened lifespan. Quadriplegia also can result in involuntary bodily functions of respiratory and digestive systems. Infections in the brain or spinal cord; and a loss of blood supply to either may also cause quadriplegia.
Accident victims and personal injury attorneys must be pro-active in seeking immediate diagnosis and treatment of all head and spinal cord injuries. As discussed in last week’s blog (September 21, 2011) not all head and spinal injuries are immediately apparent and often overlooked because either shock is masking the symptoms or there are no external indications of impact.