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Spinal cord injuries may be traumatic or non-traumatic

Whenever a Wilmington resident gets into an accident of some sort, the first question many ask is, "is the person okay?" Finding out if an accident victim has serious injuries is one of the most important elements of any post-accident procedure. When these injuries are serious, they often need immediate treatment and may require long-term medical care. Whether it's a car accident, a workplace accident, a sporting incident or some other type of situation, resulting spinal cord injuries can change a person's life forever.

What causes spinal cord injury? Many different types of accidents can cause this condition. Spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal column or spinal cord is damaged - in particular, the vertebrae, disks or ligaments of the spinal column are often at the core of a spinal cord injury. There can be both traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries, each with different levels of severity. Non-traumatic injuries can come about due to issues such as inflammation or infection, or conditions such as cancer or even arthritis. The non-traumatic version can also be caused by the spine's disk degeneration.

Traumatic spinal cord injury happens when there is a sudden and severe blow to a person's spine; this traumatic force will likely do one of the following to the spine's vertebrae: crush, compress or dislocate. Even one vertebrae damaged in such a manner can cause a traumatic spinal cord injury. Unfortunately for many victims, even more damage can be done following a traumatic blow to the spine because, following the initial impact, there is risk for bleeding, inflammation, swelling or the accumulation of fluid both in and around the victim's spinal cord.

One of the key traits of a spinal cord injury is that a victim often has difficulty controlling movement, or is paralyzed, in the part of the body below the injury site. This is because the damage usually has a negative effect on the nerve fibers in the area of injury. Interestingly, this is true whether a spinal cord injury is traumatic or non-traumatic. In any event, an injury victim may face the prospect of a dramatically altered future. Accident victims who believe their injury is due to the negligence of another, such as a negligent driver or similar party, may find relief by consulting with a compassionate spinal cord injury attorney.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Spinal cord injury," accessed Aug. 31, 2015

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