Many accidents can lead to a spinal cord injury. However, there are some instances in which you might not notice right away. It is imperative that you always consider the possibility of having this type of injury if you are involved in any accident.
The chance of someone having a spinal cord injury is why paramedics put patients on hard backboards and use cervical collars when they are bringing people to the emergency room from serious accidents like semitruck or motor vehicle crashes.
Type of damage matters
When you have a complete spinal cord injury, you won't have any function or feeling below the level of the injury. This makes it fairly easy to know that there is something wrong because you will realize quickly if your legs aren't working properly. Things aren't as easy if you have an incomplete injury because you might still have some feeling and some movement below the level of the injury, which might make you think that nothing is wrong.
Signs you should pay close attention to
One thing that you have to do after an accident is pay attention for signs that you do have some measure of damage in the area. There are some signs that signal the need for medical care. If you experience any of these, don't put off going to the doctor. It is possible that the injury will worsen if left alone.
- Difficulty breathing after the accident
- Numbness, loss of sensation, or tingling in the limbs or digits
- Severe pain in the back, neck or head
- Trouble walking or keeping your balance
- Incoordination, weakness or inability to move body parts
- Twisted back or neck
After the spinal cord is injured, spinal shock is likely going to set in. This can cause swelling and inflammation and could result in a worsening of symptoms. The problem with this is that you might begin to feel better once the spinal shock abates. This could give you a false sense of relief, but that might be short-lived when the symptoms begin after certain movements or activities.
Costly care is necessary
The care that you need for a spinal cord injury is likely going to be costly. These injuries usually require a long-term and comprehensive treatment plan, which can result in considerable expenses. You might choose to seek compensation for the financial impact the injury is having on your life. This is done by filing a lawsuit against the parties liable for the accident.