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Effects of spinal cord injuries and the risk for complications

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2019 | Firm News

Due to car accidents, slips or falls, sports trauma or any other number of factors, people throughout Georgia and elsewhere may suffer trauma that causes spinal cord injuries. Regardless of the cause, those who survive such injuries may require lifelong care to manage the effects of their injuries, as well as the potential complications. 

According to Hopkins Medicine, spinal cord injuries occur due to trauma that causes bruising, partial tears or complete tears of the spinal cord. The extent of the damage is classified as complete or incomplete. Those with complete injuries retain no movement below the level of their injuries, while people with incomplete spinal cord injuries may still have some feeling or mobility below their injuries. This loss of function may occur in the arms and the legs, quadriplegia, or in the lower body and legs, paraplegia.  

Depending on the level, type and severity of the trauma, spinal cord injuries may cause a range of symptoms. In addition to the loss of sensation and mobility, these injuries may affect how people’s bodies function, including causing difficulty breathing, impaired nerve and muscle control, and altered sexual function. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, secondary complications may occur due to changes in the way people’s bodies function after suffering spinal cord injuries. This type of trauma may cause circulatory problems, which may increase the chances of people with these injuries developing blood clots or suffering autonomic hyperreflexia. If their abdominal or chest muscles are affected by their injuries, people may be more susceptible to pneumonia or other lung problems. As a result of bladder control issues, those living with spinal cord injuries may have an increased risk of kidney and urinary tract infections, as well as kidney and bladder stones. 

Often decreasing people’s mobility, spinal cord injuries may cause people to live significantly less active lifestyles. Consequently, they may be more likely to put on unhealthy weight or develop serious health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.