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Paralysis may go beyond limbs in spinal cord injuries

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2023 | Neck And Back Injuries |

Spinal cord injuries are often associated with paralysis of the limbs. Some people may not realize that paralysis can also affect other systems in the body. Christopher Reeve, who is best known for his role as Superman, suffered an injury to his neck that resulted in him being dependent on a ventilator to breathe. 

There are several bodily systems that can be affected by a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is crucial in transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When it’s damaged, this signal transmission can be disrupted or halted. Understanding a bit about this may be beneficial. 

Level of the injury matters

The effects of the spinal cord injury will always occur below the level of damage on the spinal cord. This means that there is a greater chance of bodily systems being affected if the injury is to the neck than if it is in the lower back. 

Paralysis of internal organs

Spinal cord injuries can have serious consequences, including the potential paralysis of internal organs. Injuries higher up on the spinal cord might impact the chest and abdominal muscles, leading to difficulties in breathing. Neck, upper and lower spine injuries can lead to issues with bladder and bowel control. They may also affect sexual function.  

Understanding that each case is unique and the extent of impact varies is vital. Immediate medical attention and ongoing care are essential for managing such injuries. This can be costly and might be lifelong. Victims may opt to seek compensation to help offset the financial impacts. There are time limits established by California law that must be followed, so be sure to act swiftly.