Personal injuries can occur under various circumstances, from car accidents and falls to sports-related and workplace accidents. One of the most serious and life-altering consequences of personal injury scenarios is spinal cord injury (SCI).
Understanding the symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries is crucial because early recognition and treatment can significantly impact the long-term outcomes for those affected. These are the most common symptoms of spinal cord injuries resulting from personal injuries.
Loss of motor function
One of the most apparent symptoms of a spinal cord injury is a loss of motor function. Depending on the severity of the injury and its location, this loss of function can affect various parts of the body. Paralysis can be complete or partial, affecting the legs (paraplegia) or both the arms and legs (quadriplegia). Loss of motor function often occurs immediately following the injury and is usually irreversible. Patients may also experience painful involuntary muscle contractions, making mobility and rehabilitation more challenging. Medications and physical therapy may be used to manage muscle spasms.
SCI can also lead to sensory changes; individuals may experience altered or loss of sensation below the level of the injury. This can manifest as numbness, tingling or hypersensitivity in the affected areas. Sensory changes can be distressing and significantly impact a person’s quality of life.
Injuries to the upper spinal cord, particularly those in the cervical region, can affect a person’s breathing. Depending on the extent of the injury, breathing difficulties may require immediate medical intervention, such as the use of a ventilator to assist with respiration.
Loss of bladder and bowel control
SCI can disrupt the normal functioning of the bladder and bowels. Individuals may experience loss of control over urination (incontinence) and bowel movements (fecal incontinence). This affects physical comfort and poses significant challenges to daily living.
Changes in sexual function
Spinal cord injuries can also significantly impact sexual function. Both men and women may experience changes in arousal, sexual desire and the ability to achieve or maintain an erection or achieve orgasm. This can have a profound emotional and psychological impact on individuals and their relationships.
Spinal cord injuries resulting from actionable personal injury scenarios can have profound and long-lasting effects on an individual’s life. That’s why victims shouldn’t hesitate to pursue the compensation they need to finance their rehabilitation in the event that their condition was caused by another’s action or inaction.