Paralysis is the complete loss of nerve and muscle function in one or more limbs, and often results from damage to the spinal cord. Paralysis can have a partial or total effect on the body, depending on where spinal damage occurred. Types of paralysis are often described by the number of limbs affected (i.e. quadriplegia vs. paraplegia).
Main Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Cervical Spinal Cord Injury (C1 - C8)
This affects the upper portion of the spinal cord and leaves victims with either severe weakness or paralysis in the arms and legs. As this is higher up the spine, the consequences are more severe, including:
- Loss of sensation
- Inability to breathe without assistive equipment
- Inability to control signals
- Dysfunction of the bowel and bladder
- Needing a brace or permanent stabilization
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury (T1 - T12)
This affects the middle portion of the spine and will cause paralysis in the legs. The thoracic spine is the largest part of the spine, so thoracic injuries are the most likely of any spinal injury. Victims of a thoracic injury experience:
- Full and uninhibited control of their arms
- Loss of physical sensation
- Bowel and bladder dysfunction
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury (L1 - L5)
These are injuries in the lower portion of the spine (the lumbar), and will cause loss of motor function in the legs, leaving upper limbs functional. Lumbar spinal cord injuries, however, yield different consequences:
- Inhibited control of the buttocks, genital organs, and abdomen
- Surgical intervention is often required
Sacral Spinal Cord Injury (S1 - S5)
This is an injury at the end of the spine, affecting bowel and bladder function. In many cases, paralysis will also affect:
- Hips and legs
- Weakness or lack of control of the thigh
- Calves, feet, and genital organs
Rehabilitation & Recovery for Paralysis Victims
Paralysis victims will often never return to the previous style or quality of life—however, through comprehensive rehabilitation, they can learn new skills which will allow for them to better move forward into the next chapter of life. By finding a qualified rehabilitation center, they will be able to address a wide variety of their needs.
Here are a few of the professionals who can help paralysis patients transition into this new chapter:
- Psychiatrists can help develop a long term plan for handling the pain and emotional struggles.
- Rehab Nurses will look at the bigger, aiding areas such as nutrition, self-care, breathing, and education.
- Occupation and Physical Therapists can begin encouraging movement in paralysis victims through everyday routines.
Rehabilitation and recovery for paralysis victims requires extensive funding and care. If you or a loved one has had their life turned upside down from a wrongful injury resulting in paralysis, you need your due compensation in order to provide any treatments that are available. Arnold & Itkin, LLP never delivers anything less than dedicated, determined injury attorneys who understand your loss and want to help you recover.
Call Arnold & Itkin at (888) 493-1629 for your free consultation.