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Personal Injury Law Blog | Spine Law | Spine Injury Lawyers

Fundamentals of Spinal Cord Injury

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Beautiful girl sitting behind the wheel of a car and smiling

Ehline Law Firm face questions from brain injury survivors often. Many were victims of severe car accidents and slips and falls. Many have back injury claims. Us tort attorneys have to know medicine and the law. So here we answer victim’s questions from our perspective as spine injury lawyers.

Spinal cord injuries remain critical ailments with ongoing health implications. Most of all, they change a person’s lifestyle overnight. Many functions depend on the spinal cord. When a back injury occurs, you are at risk for short-term and long-term complications.

The victim and their family will find it necessary to learn how to manage spine injuries. And this stays part of the ongoing recovery process. It also helps victims understand the art of living with a permanent ailment.

Below are some common complications with spine injuries:

  • Spasms: Spasticity describes increased spasms. It consists of uncontrolled reflexes of limb movement. Spine injury victims often suffer this issue. This suffering happens due to nerves in the spinal cord getting triggered or damaged. So now the brain and nerves no longer communicate the same way. Basically, the spine injury victim no longer controls bodily movements. Medical treatments exist to help reduce spasticity. Although in some cases, the spasms might be beneficial. Spasms help improve muscle tone in the affected area. That will allow the patient to have some stability of the limb. The goal of improving mobility remains possible with this extra stimuli.
  • Urinary: Urinary tract infection or kidney infection and bowel problems can also happen. In that case, the nerves controlling these functions become damaged. Spinal cord impact or twisting remains a primary culprit. In some cases, the brain and body are no longer able to coordinate. So now the bladder and bowel fail to eliminate waste in a controlled manner. In some situations, medications or catheters may be used to treat the problem. In other cases drinking plenty of water and having more fiber in the diet help the patient’s condition.
  • Weight Gain or Loss: Weight gain or loss may occur after a spinal cord injury. Damage can affect the person’s ability to exercise and their diet. But healthy eating habits and exercise may remain possible. This improvement happens with help from nutrition experts and physical therapists.
  • Depression: This sadness remains a common occurrence in patients who suffered a spinal cord injury. While people recover, some experience some depression. Other symptoms may also be present like anxiety, grief, and stress. So the patient needs to have the support of family. Having friends and care providers could make a huge difference. Victims need to overcome the depressive state of an unfortunate injury. Sometimes great benefits come from hiring therapists. They may help the patient through this difficult period.
  • Sexual Dysfunction: People who have suffered a spinal cord injury often suffer from sexual dysfunction and fertility issues. A plethora of items can still arise, however. Also, this problem affects men more than women. Doctors may prescribe medication and other treatments to increase fertility. Spinal cord injuries rarely affect fertility in women. But pregnancy remains viewed high risk. And it should only be considered with the assistance of a qualified healthcare expert.
  • Bed Sores: Also, spinal cord injury patients may face bed sores. These happen since patients may be sitting or lying in the same position for extended amounts of time. These get caused by pressure on the skin by the bones that restrict blood flow. This pressure creates a deterioration of the tissue. The result will be a pressure sore. Hence, they get referred to as bed sores. They only affect people unable to be mobile most or all of the time. To maintain healthy skin, patients should frequently get moved around. Other tips include keeping the person clean. And they need to be eating a balanced diet. The patient or the caregiver should inspect the skin often for any red areas. Cuts or sores remain particular culprits. If bones protrude, they rub more. These locations include the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. So any marks, cuts or sores should be treated right away. You must ensure they remain disaffected.
  • Neurogenic Pain: This pain originates in the nervous tissue. Further, this causes sensations of burning and stinging. It remains a common occurrence. In some cases, the limbs no longer have feeling or movement. There can also be a pain in the other parts of the body. In this way, the body compensates for the numb limbs. Arms used strenuously for wheelchair movement can become numb, for example. Several forms of treatment get used for this symptom.
    • The battery of therapy includes oral medications. It can also include IM and Sub-Q injections.
    • It may include transfusions and stem cell therapy.
    • It could also involve using spinal or brain electrical stimulation.
    • Homeopathic medicine like acupuncture acupressure may help as an adjunct.
    • If all else fails, surgery remains available.
  • Heart Rate: One of the significant concerns with this type of health issue remains heart rate. Because of this, it can slow down a lot. On the other hand, it might rise to an extreme rate after the injury. Also, this might result in heart problems. So these may require medication. Of special interest, this would include treatments like low blood pressure intravenous blood infusions.
  • Blood Clots: Blood clots are one of the major concerns with spinal cord damage. And not being able to get around reduces blood flow through the veins. Healthcare providers often prescribe blood clotting medications for patients with these types of spinal cord injuries.
  • Automatic Dysreflexia: This condition occurs due to stimulus. These include skin irritations or a blocked catheter. This provocation results in a message that gets triggered below the injury. This signal then gets sent to the brain. The brain cannot receive the message. And this causes a reflex constricting the blood vessels. Then the heart rate slows and raises blood pressure. So this increases the risk of stroke and in rare cases seizure. In some cases, this condition can be decreased by changing the position of the patient.
  • Pneumonia: Pneumonia and asthma are complications. These can affect some spinal cord patients. Also, the muscles associated with breathing become weakened. In some cases, it may be necessary for the person to have breathing assistance. Also, the nerves to the diaphragm could be damaged. Flu shots could be prescribed in these cases. Medications may also regulate breathing related issues.

As you can see, many ways exist for a spinal cord injury to affect human life. The nerves leading to and from the brain run across the spine. These types of injuries will require lifetime care if they are serious.

So you must get your questions answered in detail by a spinal cord lawyer specialist. How do you know whether you should settle a negligence claim? The answer is you cannot be sure without legal help. You must retain counsel. You may have to sue.


Approach to the Patient and Diagnostic Evaluation Harman Singh, MD Jim Harrop, MD:

Prevention of Spinal Disc Injuries – PDR Diagnostics:

Evaluation and Management of Acute Cervical Spine Trauma – Laura Pimentel, MDa,b,*, Laura Diegelmann, MDa,c:


Los Angeles Fractured Spine Compression Lawyer

Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC – Serious Lumbar Fractures Lawyers:

Michael Ehline at the court
United States Supreme Court

When the bones in the lower spine break due to trauma, several medical descriptions exist. Terms include cervical-lumbar compression fractures, ruptures, breaks, cracks or fissures. Some doctors call this a “vertebral compression fracture,” for example.

In most cases, this type of fracture takes an extreme force to do the damage. But for every rule, an exception exists. But the elderly, or cancer patients have become brittle. Lower impacts on weak people like them can be tragic. Same goes for women with osteoporosis. A small stumble easily means permanent harm.

What Are the Annual Stats on Spine Fractures?

It is estimated each year that 150,00 people in the U.S. are stricken with spinal fractures. Further, at least 12,000 people suffer spine maladies. Also, this includes an estimated 6,000 back injury deaths. (Click here.)

Ehline Law Firm spinal cord injury attorneys remain the “go to” lawyers for back injuries. In fact, we have achieved remarkable success in court for winning cases.

Also, out of court, people praise us for our excellent service. After all, we promptly return customer calls. We also keep clients apprised of the latest case matters. If you suffered a severe lumbar break, we stand ready to assist you right now at (213) 596-9642.

What are the Lumbar Compression Fracture Symptoms?

When a fracture of the spine bones takes place, wide-ranging symptoms present themselves. And this affects suffering people in many ways. The severity of the break determines the pressure placed on the spinal cord. So some breaks are mildly painful. But others feel worse. Still, others lead to termination of life.

The symptoms include:

  • Numbness: numbness might exist in the back or legs. Lack of feeling presents itself in severe cases.
  • Weakness: if nerve damage exists, weakness or tingling sometimes occur in the back of the legs.
  • Pain: a possible symptom of a fracture. Also, it usually happens in the lower back. Furthermore, in some instances, it will be felt in the upper back, neck, hips, and abdomen.
  • Paralysis: when the fracture involves the spinal cord, partial or permanent paralysis could occur.
  • Urination and Bowel Problems: lumbar compression fractures place pressure on the spinal cord. Also, it impairs a person’s ability to urinate or have bowel movements.

How Do You Get Your Fracture Diagnosis?

When trauma causes a cervical/lumbar fracture, the person could feel pain right away. To have this fracture diagnosed and treated, you need medical care. The physician will order spine testing. This trauma determines the amount of damage done to that point.

  • X-Rays: The physician will order x-rays. These will be able to identify a fracture and where it has occurred.
  • CT Scan: Doctors sometimes order a CAT scan, also known as a CT scan. Sometimes x-rays prove insufficient. Also, Scans prove more intricate. Scans help determine fracture stability. And they provide a different view.
  • MRI: if the physician suspects nerve damage has occurred, they should order an MRI. Further, this will allow a look at the soft tissue around the spine. And it will show any abnormalities.

How Do Compression Fractures Happen?

Compression fractures also naturally occur. Sometimes degenerative diseases like osteoporosis or cancer get diagnosed. These could cause vertebral compression fractures. So these illnesses weaken bones of the spine. Trauma to the spine bones also causes fractures in healthy people. Most of all, accidents causing fractures stem from slip/falls and car accidents.

How Do You Pay for Your Back Injury Medical Treatment?

Treatments for cervical-lumbar compression fractures depend on the severity and type. Surgical and nonsurgical procedures exist. But these will depend on if the fractures stay stable or unstable. Stable fractures sometimes heal if you keep the pressure off. Usually, the patient wears a brace.

Use of a brace, rest, medications and physical therapy help. These methods assist in strengthening the muscles. So this will allow for healing of the injury. But unstable fractures or those that caused nerve or tissue damage mostly need surgery. Last, other treatments could be indicated. Pain injections called “epidurals,” often become prescribed, for example.

This will include:

  • Surgical Decompression: This type of surgery involves reducing the pressure on the affected area. This surgery gets done by manually manipulating the bone and ligaments. In the case where pressure remains on a nerve or spinal cord, surgical bone removal may be indicated.
  • Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty: Many of these treatments remain controversial. Also, they might fail to work on all types of spinal fractures. These procedures involve cement injections to the fracture location. This procedure helps assist in spinal stability.
  • Surgical Fusion: To heal, sometimes the vertebrae need screws, rods, and hooks. These get surgically implanted in patients to stabilize the fractured bone. Bone grafting has also been a typical procedure used. But the surgeries have a high risk of infection and failure.

How Do You Get Your Compression Fracture Prognosis?

Many compression fractures remain capable of healing if treated. However, some treatments lead to paralysis and death. Even people helped by non-surgical treatment will need perhaps three months to heal. And it goes without saying that folks who need surgery need several months to recover.

Was Your Compression Fracture or Back Injury From an Accident? If So, Call Ehline Law Firm Now For Help!

Ehline Law Firm has provided reliable legal help. We have won money for those suffering from cervical and lumbar injuries. These clients sustained injuries in various ways.

These include:

  • Motor vehicle collisions
  • Work-related accidents
  • Slip and fall injuries

Also, our lawyers remain honed, assertive, and illustrious. We have a no holds barred style. And we go toe to toe battling belligerent insurance companies. We have no fear of fighting and defeating their army of defense attorneys.

Our forte remains to manage and mastering extremely contentious medical cases. This expertise includes help with disc bursts and compression fractures. We understand how evil insurance companies look at these injuries.

So we use this knowledge to obtain the highest possible payout. We win money for your wounds. Contact us for free legal advice. Call at your earliest convenience. (213) 596-9642.

Other Citations:

1. Taber, Clarence Wilbur; Venes, Donald (2009). Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary. F.A. Davis. pp. 2173–4.


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Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

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