Padilla Law Group, LLP

A spinal cord prognosis depends on many factors

California construction workers, police officers, road construction workers, truck drivers and more all perform their duties despite the enormous risks they face every time they show up for work. Work-related accidents in these and other high-risk industries often result in catastrophic injuries that may come with lifelong repercussions.

For instance, even with the advancements in the medical industry, there is only so much that doctors can do when it comes to spinal cord injuries. Without a doubt, receiving medical intervention as quickly as possible may make a substantial difference, but so much depends on your body, the severity of the injury and its location.

Different types affect your recovery

Broken down into its simplest explanation, spinal cord injuries come in two types:

  • An incomplete spinal cord injury indicates that the damage to your spinal cord was only partial since you retain some sensation in your limbs below the location of your injury. For instance, if the injury occurred in your lower back, but you can still at least somewhat feel the doctor poking your legs, then doctors may categorize your injury as incomplete.
  • A complete spinal cord injury indicates that the damage to your spinal cord is permanent. This type of injury leads to permanent damage and paralysis below the injury site.

Obviously, the prognosis for a full or at least nearly full recovery is better for an incomplete injury versus a complete one. If you still have some sensation and ability to move below your injury site, you may walk again.

Different locations affect different body systems

Where your injury occurs plays a substantial role in your abilities as you recover and throughout the rest of your life, especially if you suffer a complete spinal cord injury. Locations are broken down into the following four regions:

  • Sacral injuries affect the back of your thighs, your buttocks, your hips and your pelvic organs.
  • Lumbar injuries affect those areas above and your legs.
  • Thoracic injuries affect those areas already listed, along with your abdominal muscles, your upper chest and your mid-back.
  • Cervical injuries affect all of the areas listed above, along with your neck and head.

Obviously, the higher the site of your spinal cord injury, the more medical attention, intervention and maintenance you will require moving forward. You may also experience a number of secondary health issues that can arise due to your inability to feel or control certain portions of your body.

Even though workers' compensation benefits may help with your situation, you may have a claim against one or more third parties as well. For instance, if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident while on duty that was not your fault, you may seek compensation from the other driver. In order to know for sure, you may want to take advantage of a case evaluation to understand your rights and determine your legal options.

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