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What is a spinal cord injury?

Most people in Louisiana know that the spinal cord is an important part of the body but they may not fully understand what it is or does and how an injury to it may impact a person. Because there are so many situations that could contribute to a spinal cord injury, understanding this is important.

As explained by Johns Hopkins Medicine, a person may experience damage to the spinal cord in a motor vehicle accident, as the result of a birth injury or from a fall at work, at a public venue or elsewhere and more. The spinal cord is not one cord as the name may imply but a group of nerves that run through the vertebrae for protection, carrying vital messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

The spinal cord may be damaged at any point and the higher up the damage, the more of the body will be affected. An injury high up, such as in the neck, may result in complete paralysis from that point down. An injury at the base of the spine may render a person paraplegic. Spinal cord injuries may be complete, meaning that no feeling or movement is possible in the affected area, or incomplete, meaning that some feeling or movement is possible.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Louisiana an overview of the spinal cord, its importance, what can happen when it is damaged and the types of incidents that may lead to a spinal cord injury.

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