If you are reading this post while standing up or without experiencing any pain, thank your spinal cord. Most of the time, you never think about your spinal cord, but it affects almost all of your body’s voluntary and involuntary actions from the neck down. It enables you to move your arms and legs and to control your bladder and bowel functions, to name just a few. Simple things like walking and using the toilet, which you have taken for granted since you were a very young child, can be major challenges if you have suffered a spinal cord injury. Car accident lawyers can help you recover damages if you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of a motor vehicle accident.
Leading Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spine does a good job of protecting your spinal cord; but, trauma from a car accident can cause injury and damages. The most common cause of spinal cord injury is motor vehicle accidents, followed by falls. Many spinal cord injuries resulting from falls occur in people who work on slippery surfaces, such as on docks, tugboats, barges, drilling rigs, pipe lay barges and/or ship decks.
Non-traumatic spinal cord injury can occur as a result of diseases that cause inflammation of the spine, such as cancer (including mesothelioma that has metastasized), osteoporosis, and arthritis. Most spinal cord injuries occur in men who are at greater risk because of physically demanding jobs.
Treatments Offer Hope, but There is No Substitute for a Healthy Spinal Cord
Until recently, serious spinal cord injuries may have resulted in relying on a wheelchair for the rest of a person’s life. Today, some treatments enable people who have suffered serious spinal cord injuries to regain some of their mobility and other functions compromised by the injury. The following are a few interventions that can help people with spinal cord injuries to maintain their independence.
● Exoskeletons: These medical devices are attached to the legs and communicate with the brain, enabling the person to walk even when the nerves in the lower spine and legs are damaged.
● Steroids: Treatment with steroids immediately after a traumatic injury can prevent swelling, thus preventing spinal cord damage and making for a much better prognosis.
● Stem cell therapy: Researchers are working to develop treatments by which stem cells taken from adults can help patients’ injured spinal cords repair themselves.
● Spinal cord implants: These devices are implanted in the patient’s back to send signals to the peripheral nerves the way a healthy spinal cord would.
Even if you have access to state-of-the-art treatments, spinal cord injuries can still be devastating. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to discuss your case.