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How do spinal cord injuries affect your body?

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2022 | Spinal Cord Injuries

Georgia residents may sustain spinal cord injuries through motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports or acts of violence. Regardless of the reason, spinal cord injuries may cause long-lasting effects on your quality of life.

Spinal infections

Spinal cord infections may occur after your spinal cord has been injured. This type of infection, vertebral osteomyelitis, occurs when bacteria in the blood spreads to an injured vertebra. Vertebral osteomyelitis can cause all of the following:

  • Further destruction of the spine
  • Paraplegia
  • Death


People with osteoporosis experience a weakening of their bones. In turn, their bones break more easily. Spinal cord injuries cause rapid onset of osteoporosis, and many patients develop the condition within a few years of their spinal injury.

Organ infections

While you may not associate your spine with the healthy function of your other organs, the rest of your body may sustain infections following spinal cord injuries. Kidney stones, pneumonia and bladder infections frequently occur as a result of injuries to the spine.


If your spinal cord injury occurs higher on the body, you may experience paralysis in the majority of your body. Doctors call this condition quadriplegia or tetraplegia. Lower spinal cord conditions typically cause paralysis in the legs and lower body only. Doctors call this condition paraplegia.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

DVT refers to blood clots in the arms and legs. These blood clots occur due to a lack of movement. If these clots break loose and travel through your bloodstream they can end up blocking the blood flow to your lungs. This is known as a pulmonary embolism, a sometimes fatal condition.

Future outlook for spinal cord injuries

Some spinal cord injuries will last for the rest of your life. Other injuries may heal in time. Additionally, some side effects may not develop for months or years after your spinal cord injury occurred.