The spine is the support system of the body, so an injury can interfere with many functions. Statistics estimate that about 296,000 people in the United States live with spinal cord injuries. There are several types of spinal cord injuries a person in Georgia may experience, ranging from mild to serious.
Spinal cord injury facts and stats
Back injury is the top job-related personal injury, and around 1 million injuries occur on the job annually. Studies from a sample group of 34,733 participants found that auto accidents and falls cause the most spinal injuries.
Men account for 78% of spinal injuries, and around 48% of back injuries occur in those aged 17 to 25. Reports show that around 80% of adults will experience a back injury at some point, and nurses are at the highest risk.
Types of spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury divides into complete injury or partial injury depending on whether it’s permanent or temporary. While the severity can vary, some general symptoms include breathing issues, bowel and bladder control issues, nerve pain, paralysis and headaches.
Incomplete injuries make up 60% of spinal injuries and commonly occur from compression, but some nerve and sensory function remain. A Brown-Sequard injury is a rare incomplete injury that damages one side of the spine, and most patients recover leg strength. A central cord injury causes general symptoms in the spinal cord center, damaging nerve receptors that transport signals to the brain.
A complete spinal cord injury causes total paralysis of varying degrees on the side of the infected areas. Tetraplegia causes loss of sensation and function below the injured area, and paraplegia affects the lower body.
Individuals can legally seek compensation from the parties responsible for their injuries, but they should seek medical attention immediately. Because the spine is so essential to many bodily functions, getting immediate treatment could help prevent a worse outcome.