Victims of car collisions and other types of accidents in Louisiana and throughout the nation may be left with serious injuries that can affect their lives for years to come. Spinal cord damage is just one type of catastrophic injury that may cause permanent damage to people who become involved in an accident. The fragile nerves of the spinal cord can be damaged when the hard, bony vertebrae is fractured, crushed, compressed or dislocated. These vertebrae press against or crush the fragile nerves that run through the spinal column. This may cause swelling, inflammation and bleeding. Fluid may begin to accumulate around the spinal cord, causing even more damage.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several common causes of spinal cord damage. Acts of violence, such as stabbings and gunshot wounds, as well as sports and recreation injuries are common causes. Falls are responsible for more than 25 percent of all spinal cord injuries in the United States. The most common cause of spinal nerve damage is caused by motor vehicle accidents, which account for 35 percent of all new injuries every year.
Spinal cord damage can cause a myriad of problems, ranging from mild to severe. A complete spinal cord injury often results in paralysis, as the brain is no longer able to send signals through the spinal cord below the point of injury. People may be paraplegic or quadriplegic depending what area of the spinal cord was injured. When people suffer from incomplete injuries, they may have some sensation and movement below the point of injury.