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What are the four types of spinal cord injuries?

| Nov 12, 2020 | Serious And Catastrophic Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating injuries a person in North Carolina could suffer in a car crash. There are four main types of spinal cord injuries that could affect different areas of a person’s body. The following is a brief overview of these injuries.

Cervical spinal cord injuries C1-C8

If a person has a cervical spinal cord injury, they will suffer weakness or paralysis in all areas below the level of injury, including both their arms and legs. This is because the cervical area of the spinal cord is responsible for sending signals to the back of a person’s head, as well as a person’s neck, arms, hands and diaphragm. A person’s respiratory capacity, bowels, bladder and sexual functionality could be affected by a cervical spinal cord injury. This type of spinal cord injury is also referred to quadriplegia or tetraplegia.

Thoracic spinal cord injuries T1-T12

A thoracic spinal cord injury is not as common as cervical spinal cord injuries. The thoracic area of the spinal cord is responsible for sending signals to certain muscles in a person’s back and abdomen. This type of spinal cord injury leads to paraplegia, meaning that it causes weakness or paralysis in a person’s legs, as well as problems with one’s bowels, bladder and sexual functionality. However, a thoracic spinal cord injury generally does not affect a person’s arms.

Lumbar spinal cord injuries L1-L5

Like a thoracic spinal cord injury, lumbar spinal cord injuries lead to paraplegia, as wells as problems with the bowels, bladder and sexual functionality. However, a person’s shoulders and arms are not affected by a lumbar spinal cord injury. The lumbar area of the spinal cord is responsible for sending signals to the lower back and abdomen, the buttocks, areas of the legs and external genitalia.

Sacral spinal cord injuries S1-S5

The sacral area of the spinal cord is responsible for sending signals to a person’s thighs and the lower portions of a person’s legs, feet and genitalia. A sacral spinal cord injury leads to weakness or paralysis of a person’s hips and legs. It can also lead to problems with the a person’s bowels, bladder and sexual functionality.

Spinal cord injuries can be life-changing

Any of these spinal cord injuries can cause significant or even permanent damage. This leads to monumental changes to a person’s life as they adjust to living with these devastating injuries. If a person suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash, they will want to determine if they can seek compensation from the responsible party to cover the many expenses that come with living with a spinal cord injury.

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