Thursday, 25 March 2010

Spinal Cord Injuries

Across the US, approximately 250,000 people suffer from some kind of spinal cord injury. Auto and truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, assaults and violence - any of these can cause spinal cord injuries. A person with a spinal cord injury may have his sense of feeling lowered, and an impaired ability to move.

People with serious spinal cord injury may be divided into two - those who suffer from quadriplegia, or quadriplegics, and those who suffer from paraplegia, or paraplegics. A quadriplegic will have loss of movement in both the upper and lower limbs, while paraplegics will have loss of movement only in the lower limbs.

Besides limited movement, there are other effects of spinal cord injury. These include:

  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Muscular weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Numbness in the hands and legs

There is much that we don't know about these injuries, and their treatment continues to be limited at best. Beyond a certain point of treatment, the only hope for a patient may be to make adjustments and modifications to his lifestyle to enable him to continue living as full a life as possible, even with his physical limitations.

Any accident that involves a spinal cord injury immediately becomes more complex to litigate. A spinal cord injury claim is unlike any simple accident claim which can be settled quickly, and with little fuss. Treatment for these injuries are very limited, and its therefore important for your California spinal cord injury lawyer to factor in expenses associated not just with short-term recovery, but also long-term rehabilitation and care.

It's important to understand that these expenses include not just medical expenses over a lifetime, but also the costs associated with modifying the victim's lifestyle to enable him to live a fulfilling life. These include modifications to his home and vehicle, as well as the need for additional care to help him with his daily needs.

There has been a lot of excitement about the role that stem cell therapy could play in spinal cord injury treatment. While these developments are encouraging, it is likely to be several years before any of these therapies are fully developed to the extent that they can be used in spinal cord injury patients, allowing them to use their limbs again.

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