What happens in a spinal cord injury?

If you have ever heard people talk about a spinal cord injury, you may have assumed that it includes an injury to the spine or some part of the back. The spinal cord is actually a bundle of nerves that runs down a person’s back. Injury to the cord itself may or may not occur along with an injury to the spine or other parts of the back.

There are multiple types of spinal cord injuries and a variety of long-term outcomes or complications that may result from these injuries.

The job of the spinal cord

As explained by WebMD, the spinal cord acts as a primary communication pathway for messages to and from the brain and other parts of the body. When the spinal cord experiences an injury, this vital communication flow may be interrupted or even stopped completely.

This lack of communication may result in a person being unable to feel or move any part of their body below the point at which the injury occurred.

Complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries

Depending on the severity of a spinal cord injury, a person may lose all feeling and movement abilities, or they may lose only some feeling and movement abilities. In the former, their injury is referred to as a complete spinal cord injury. If some feeling and movement is retained, the person is said to have an incomplete spinal cord injury.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Louisiana an overview of what the spinal cord is and what a person may experience if they sustain an injury to the spinal cord in a vehicle accident.