Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Statistically, there are upwards of 400,000 people in the United States
alone that are living with spinal cord injuries (SCI). On average, this
equals about 11,000 injury cases each year. One of the leading causes
of spinal cord injuries is work-related accidents, particularly in the
industrial field. Those most at risk are men who are 30 years or younger.
The spinal column is complicated network of nerves, muscles, ligaments,
and vertebrae. Trauma that is severe enough can result in permanently
debilitating injuries such as various forms of paralysis. Although some
individuals suffer from spinal conditions caused by illness or disease,
spinal cord injuries are exclusively caused by trauma.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries will differ depending upon which section of the spine
sustained the trauma. There are three major sections of the spine: cervical,
thoracic, and lumbosacral. Injuries to the
cervical spine most often result in either full or complete quadriplegia. Quadriplegia
is a condition in which all four limbs and the torso become both immobile
and unable to sense feeling to a certain degree. The higher up the cervical
injury, the greater the risks for loss of breathing function. Many patients
that sustain injuries at the C3 vertebrae or above will have to rely on
ventilators for breathing.
Thoracic spinal injuries can occur anywhere from the T1 to T12 vertebrae. T1 to T8 injuries in
particular will cause a total or partial loss of abdominal function, which
can make remaining in a seated position difficult. Lower thoracic spinal
injuries and injuries that extend into the
lumbosacral region are notorious for resulting in loss of bladder or bowel function.
Paraplegia is a condition that only affects the lower limbs, leaving the
hands, arms, and torso functioning.
SCI Treatment Options
Severe trauma to the spinal cord can cause shards of bone to protrude into
the surrounding tissue and nerves, which can be incredibly painful. To
remediate this damage, surgery is often necessary. Doctors may need to
insert pins or bone grafts in order to stabilize the spinal column. Steroids
are another possible treatment option. This can quicken the healing process,
but unfortunately steroids also bring the risk of infection. After initial
medical treatment has been given, the patient will need to rehabilitate.
Rehabilitation is necessary to strengthen muscles (if possible) as well
as to teach the individual to live with their new disability. Some rehabilitation
has been successful in nearly restoring complete muscle function. Patients
can expect the most rapid part of their recovery within the first six months.
Request a Free Review of Your Case
One of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, among other catastrophic
injuries, is workplace accidents. The industrial field is one of the most
dangerous in the United States. Construction workers, refinery workers,
coal miners, and others know the great risk they face each day that they
step onto the jobsite. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we are passionate about
representing these workers so that they can get the compensation that
is due them.
It is our job as a firm to uncover those negligent actions so that we can
secure maximum financial compensation for our clients. Spinal cord injuries
often leave workers unable to perform their job duties for long periods
of time, and even for the rest of their lives. Our firm helps secure wage
loss compensation for workers and their families, as well as compensation
for initial medical treatment, rehabilitation, and even emotional damage.
To learn more about the services that we provide,
contact our firm today.