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Understanding The Differences Between A Complete And Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

In the human body, the spinal cord plays a vital role in the functions of body parts and their interactions with the brain.

The spinal cord relays messages and commands between the brain and the rest of the body within an instant, allowing a person to not only control his or her movement, but react without even thinking in many cases. Because of its vital role in the functioning of the body, spinal cord damage causes severe problems when it occurs.

There are two important factors in spinal cord damage: the location of the trauma and whether it is considered complete or incomplete.

Anything located below the area of spinal cord damage will be affected, with damage higher in the spinal cord affecting a greater amount of the body; however, the degree of damage dictates how much body function will be disrupted by the injury.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Damage

An incomplete spinal cord injury can cause varying degrees of loss of function in the areas related to the position of the injury to the spinal cord. Often, incomplete injuries can cause pain, numbness, and loss of sensation in the affected body part or parts. Such injuries can also interfere with motor control and uncontrollable, weak, and/or unresponsive muscles. Depending on the location of an injury, a victim can also have breathing difficulties, loss of bowel and bladder control, and various other changes in the body. Incomplete spinal cord damage is possible to recover from, but can take years of rehabilitation and leave life-long effects on a victim’s bodily functions.

Complete Spinal Cord Damage

When a victim suffers a complete spinal cord injury, he or she loses all function below the injured area. Victims are almost always unable to recover at all from a complete injury, with functions forever lost due to the location and effect of the injury. The higher in the spine that the injury is, the more bodily functions completely lost by a complete injury.

All spinal cord injuries, no matter how severe or how disabling, are serious injuries that permanently alter a person’s life. If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury due to another’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your losses. The San Jose spinal cord injury attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help you in your search for compensation from the responsible party. For more information, call (800) 900-0863.