Understanding the facts about Illinois spinal cord injuries

Auto accidents and other incidents may lead to spinal cord injuries, which may cause a range of symptoms and complications, and require medical care.

When involved in auto accidents, assaults, slip-and-fall incidents or other accidents, people in Illinois may suffer significant harm, including spinal cord injuries. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, it is estimated that 11,000 people across the U.S. suffer spinal cord injuries each year. Many people who suffer these types of injuries are frightened and unsure what to expect.

Symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries

People who have suffered spinal cord injuries may experience a range of symptoms. These may vary, depending on the type and severity of their injuries. Some of the most common spinal cord injury symptoms include the following:

• Tingling in toes, feet, fingers or hands

• Loss of sensation in toes, feet, fingers or hands

• Difficulty walking

• Balance issues

Intense pain in the head, neck or back

• Pressure in the head, neck or back

Generally, spinal cord injuries may be classified as incomplete or complete. When people suffer incomplete spinal cord injuries, they may retain some function below their injuries, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Spinal cord injuries that result in the loss of all sensory and motor function below people's injuries are categorized complete spinal cord injuries.

Complications from spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries disrupt the connection between the brain the body's systems. Consequently, the spinal cord's ability to send and receive messages may be impaired. In addition to the primary symptoms they cause, this may lead to a number of other complications.

People who suffer spinal cord injuries often experience sensation issues, which may lead to problems resulting from extended exposure to cold or heat, as well as pressure sores. Spinal cord injuries may also cause urinary issues. The Mayo Clinic points out this may contribute to an increased risk for bladder or kidney stones, kidney infections and urinary tract infections. When spinal cord injuries lead to circulatory changes, people may have issues including a pulmonary embolus, deep vein thrombosis or orthostatic hypotension.

Treating spinal cord injuries

According to the Mayo Clinic, the damage caused by spinal cord injuries cannot be reversed. Thus, the treatment for such injuries is generally aimed at controlling the symptoms and preventing further injury. Immediately following a spinal cord injury, people may be immobilized or require surgery. Then, they might be prescribed medications to treat their symptoms or complications resulting from their injuries.

After their injuries are stabilized, people may require ongoing medical care. This may include physical or occupational therapy, as well as the use of medical devices or aids.