Biomechanics in a Spinal Cord Injury

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Spinal cord injuries are nothing short of tragic for their victims. In addition to causing loss of motor skills and motion, they can affect numerous bodily systems, creating a huge burden for survivors who may never lead a "normal" life again. But how do spinal cord injuries occur? What are the biomechanics of spinal cord injury?

Causes of a Spinal Cord

Spinal cord injury can be caused by a number of traumas. These include:

While each spinal injury is unique, there are some similarities in the biomechanics, or principles of human movement, of spinal injury.

Types of Injuries Involving Biomechanics

There are several ways in which a spinal column can sustain injury. These include direct and indirect mechanisms. For example, the spinal cord can be directly injured when it is crushed beneath the wheel of a car or pierced with a bullet. It can also be indirectly hurt when blood flow is interrupted due to a secondary injury or it is compressed by another body part.

The spinal cord can be:

  • Crushed
  • Compressed
  • Cut
  • Broken
  • Dislocated

If harmed by any of these mechanisms, the result may be paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are classified as either "complete" or "incomplete" depending on where symptoms occur. If the nerve signals that occur beneath the point of the spinal cord below which sensation or motor control is limited are only partially disturbed, the injury is incomplete. If all nerve signals beneath that point are disrupted, the injury is complete.

Complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries are often referred to as:

  • Paraplegia – Paraplegia causes spinal cord injury victims to lose movement and sensation in the lower body (usually below the victim's waist). It is caused by injury to specific regions of the spine: sacral, lumbar, or thoracic.
  • Quadriplegia – Quadriplegia affects both the lower and upper body and affects the arms and legs. It is caused by injury to the cervical spine.

No matter what the biomechanics of a spinal cord injury, its effects are an ugly reality for nearly 11,000 Americans injured each year. Looking for justice for a spinal cord injury? Don't take no for an answer. Contact Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP at (800) 900-0863 today for more information on whether you could have a valid spinal cord injury lawsuit.

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