5 Common Spinal Injuries and How-to Avoid Them

January 16, 2017

The spinal cord play a key role in transmitting signals from the brain to various parts of the body. Even minor injury to the spine or the cranial nerves that make up the cord can have very serious results. Any of the following five types of spinal injury that cause damage to the spine or nerves may result in long-term effects, such as loss of sensation and the paralysis of limbs and lower extremities.

Incomplete Injuries

While typically less severe than a complete injuries, trauma that results in a partially severed spinal chord may allow an injured person to maintain some degree of sensation or function in their limbs or lower body. The degree of paralysis suffered often depends on the nature and severity of the injury. The symptoms caused by incomplete injuries may range from minor issues to life-altering disabilities depending on the nature and severity of the damage to the spine and nerves.

Complete Injuries

This type of injury completely severs the spinal cord and typically eliminates all function and sensation to areas of the body below the site of injury. Treatment, surgical interventions and long-term physical therapy may allow those who have suffered from a complete spinal cord injury to regain some degree function, sensation or range of motion.

Anterior Cord Syndrome

Damage to the frontal area of the spinal cord can disrupt the motor and sensory pathways of the nerves. Although some degree of recovery from an anterior injury is usually possible, it is more common for victims to retain or regain sensation while recovering from issues like loss of movement, function and range of motion may prove more difficult.

Central Cord Syndrome

Trauma that causes injury to the center of the spinal cord commonly damages the nerves that carry sensory information and signals from the brain to the rest of the body. These type of injuries may result in the loss of fine motor skills, paralysis of the upper extremities as well as impairment or paralysis of the legs. Issues with bowel or bladder control and sexual dysfunction are also likely in the event of a central cord injury.

Brown-Sequard Syndrome:

Injuries that only affect one side of the spine can produce symptoms that are more pronounced on one side of the body than the other. Those who suffer from this type of injury may retain full range of movement and function on one side of the body while the other may be totally paralyzed or impaired. The severity and presentation of symptoms for this syndrome can vary a great deal from one patient to the next.

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