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Understanding the different types of spinal cord injury

Like many Hamilton, upon hearing the term “spinal cord injury,” you may immediately conjure up images of people who are left completely paralyzed. While that may be the outcome in some cases, there are actually many different levels of spinal cord injury, each with the potential for a different outcome. As many of those that we here at Mezibov Butler have worked with in the past can confirm, understanding the type of injury that you or your loved one may have suffered could be a factor in your determining whether or not to seek legal action to help cover your injury expenses.

The website for Johns Hopkins Medicine lists two types of spinal cord injury: complete and incomplete. With a complete injury, there is no function (either sensation or movement) below the level of the injury. Both sides of the body are also equally affected with a complete spinal cord injury. An incomplete injury will leave you or your loved one with some degreee of function, or it will leave only one side of your body impaired.

The level to which you or your loved one can expect to recover depends largely on where in your spine the injury occurred. Listed below are the different areas of spinal vertebrae, as well as the resultant deficiencies that an injury to that area may cause:

  • L-level vertebrae: Paraplegia (loss of movement in the lower body) with various degreees of muscle function in the lower legs.  
  • T-level vertebrae: Paraplegia with complete loss of lower leg function and various degreees of upper body impairment.
  • C-level vertebrae: Quadriplegia (loss of movement in all four limbs) with impairments ranging from limited arm function to a complete inability to breathe.

More information on dealing with spinal cord injuries can be found here on our site.

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