A spinal cord injury refers to damages to the spinal cord itself or to nearby bones or tissues. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, you can lose mobility or function in various parts of your body. The National Spinal Cord Injury Association reports that around 17,000 new spinal cord injuries are diagnosed in the U.S. every year.
Spinal cord injuries also happen to be the most expensive issue to cure. An estimated $9.7 billion is spent on treating spinal cord injuries every year. To avoid the pain, inconvenience, and medical costs associated with spinal cord injuries, it’s best to avoid the problem in the first place. An understanding of the causes of this medical condition can help you avoid the problem.
Spinal cord injuries result from damage to the ligaments or disks of the spinal cord, spinal column, or vertebrae. A sudden, tough shock to the spine that fractures, compresses, dislocates, or crushes multiple vertebrae can cause a severe back injury. A knife wound or gunshot that enters and cuts through your spinal cord can also lead to the condition.
Subsequent damage stems from bleeding, inflammation, fluid accumulation, and swelling around the spinal cord in the following days and even weeks.
A less problematic spinal cord injury can occur due to conditions like cancer, arthritis, disk degeneration of the spine, or other infections.
Regardless of whether a back injury is severe or non-severe, the damage impacts the nerve fibers that go through the injured region, thereby impairing one or more of the muscles and nerves under the affected area.
Let’s now study a few instances that often trigger spinal cord injuries:
Slip and Fall: Spinal injuries sustained after the age of 65 mostly result from slip and fall incidents. According to Mayo Clinic, falls are responsible for 31% of these injuries.
Alcohol Consumption: Yes, alcohol can cause spinal cord injuries too. In fact, one in four spinal cord injuries is associated with alcohol usage.
Auto Accidents: Motorcycle and car accidents are the #1 reason behind spinal cord injuries, responsible for almost 50 percent of all spinal injuries sustained each year.
Diseases: As mentioned earlier, certain pre-existing conditions can also exacerbate the condition. These may include arthritis, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Recreation and Sports Activities: Around 10% of spinal cord injuries stem from athletic activities such as diving in water that is shallow and impact sports.
Acts of Violence: Violent encounters, especially those involving gunshots or knife wounds, may also cause spinal cord injuries. These account for 13 percent of spinal cord injuries.
Now that you have a profound understanding of the common causes of spinal injuries, try your best to avoid them. If you do face a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s conduct, you will need to file your personal injury claim to seek compensation for the damages. Robert Edens is among the most experienced back injury lawyers in Antioch. To seek legal advice, contact him at your earliest!