The most common causes of traumatic spinal cord damage include:
- Auto accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- All terrain vehicle (ATV) accidents
- Snowmobile accidents
- Acts of violence (gunshots, knife wounds and physical abuse)
- Sport and recreational injuries
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are classified as either partial or complete.
- A partial spinal cord injury, or incomplete injury, occurs when the spinal cord retains its ability to send and receive messages from the brain. People with a partial spinal cord injury may be able to feel sensations and retain some motor function below the site of the injury.
- A complete spinal cord injury causes complete loss of motor function and ability to feel below the area of the injury. While this does not mean that the spinal cord is completely cut in half it does mean that there has been a large amount of damage to the spinal cord. In this type of injury recovery of motor function or sensation is not expected.
Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
The treatments of spinal cord damage are completely dependent on the location and severity of the injury. While modern medicine has not found a way to restore damage done to the spinal cord there are ways to minimize damage and reduce the amount of time in the hospital.
These treatments include:
- Medications: A corticosteroid can cause some recovery in the injured if it is given soon after the injury occurs. Long term medications include those that control pain and muscle spasticity and improve bladder, bowel control and sexual function.
- Immobilization: Traction can help stabilize the spine and prevent further damage as the body heals itself.
- Surgery: This may be necessary to repair bones, herniated discs, stabilize the spine or remove foreign objects.
- Rehabilitation: Therapy will begin as soon as the patient is stable. The goal is to give the injured the greatest possible mobility and independence.
- Assistive devices: These are used to improve quality of life and help the injured become more independent. They include modern wheelchairs, voice activated computer devices, electrical stimulation devices and neural prostheses.
Spinal cord damage can cause serious, long-lasting disability. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Van Dorn & Curtiss today for your free consultation by calling (866) 933-6115 or completing our online form. Our attorneys serve clients throughout Vermont, as well as our home state of New Hamphshire, including communities like Nashua, Concord, and Manchester.