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Knowledge is power when it comes to spinal cord injuries

You know that riding your motorcycle leaves you vulnerable in an accident, but that doesn't stop you from enjoying riding, and it shouldn't. Knowing the dangers that you face when you ride could help you determine the best ways to protect yourself. You will never enjoy the same safety features provided by a passenger car, but you might rethink how you ride knowing what you could face. For instance, how would a spinal cord injury affect your life?

Does it matter where on your spine the injury occurs?

Yes. Put simply, the higher up in the spinal cord that the injury occurs, the more it affects your body's systems. Any limbs or bodily systems below the location of the injury suffer the effects of the trauma.

  • C1-C8: An injury in your cervical spinal cord (located in the neck) potentially affects most of your body and results in quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia). Because the neck moves more than the other parts of the spine, immobilizing it presents a challenge to medical professionals. Injuries in this region of the spine often result in the following:
  1. Respiratory issues
  2. Loss of physical sensation
  3. Inability to control the bladder and bowels
  4. Inability to regulate body temperature
  5. Sexual dysfunction
  • T1-T12: Your ribcage could prevent an injury to the thoracic spine (located in the upper back). For this reason, an injury to this part of the spine isn't as common as other injuries. This injury often results in the following:
  1. Loss of sensation in the legs (paraplegia)
  2. Inability to control the bladder and bowels
  3. Sexual dysfunction
  • L1-L5: An injury to the lumbar spine (located in the lower back) can result in paraplegia. This type of injury often requires external stabilization and surgery and comes with the same bodily affects as a thoracic injury.
  • S1-S5: Because the sacral spine lies low on the body, it also affects the legs and the same bodily functions as the thoracic and lumbar spines.

A total loss of messages from the brain through the spinal cord makes the injury "complete." If the spinal cord suffers from stretching, crushing or bruising, some sensation could remain. Predicting your prognosis based on either type of injury remains a challenge. Adjusting to the challenges you could face might take some time.

Professional help through your recovery

If you suffer a spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another, you might face an extensive recovery, if you fully recover at all. The medical bills, lost wages and other damages could cause you a significant financial burden. Through the filing of a personal injury claim, you could receive compensation for your injuries. Taking the time to discuss the matter with a California attorney could provide you with the legal options you need to help pay for your current and future care.

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