What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord passes through the center of the vertebrae. Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows decreasing space for the spinal cord. This increases pressure on nerves coming off the spinal cord and can cause back pain, numbness, weakness or pain in the leg.
When a disk or vertebrae is damaged, a procedure called a spinal fusion can prevent further damage or pressure on the spinal cord. A piece of bone, often from the patient’s pelvis, is removed. The disk is removed and the bone segment is placed between the vertebrae. Rods and screws are often used to strengthen the join and prevent the affected vertebrae from too much movement.
Injuries to the spinal cord are common in slip and fall accidents and motor vehicle accidents. If the spinal cord is damaged or severed it can result in paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Paraplegic or quadriplegic injuries are often sustained in motor vehicle accidents when a vehicle occupant is ejected from the vehicle, often in a rollover. While you do not need to be ejected from the vehicle to sustain these injuries, an insurer’s common argument is that your failure to wear a seat belt caused or contributed to your injuries. If the insurer’s argument is proven, it reduces the amount of compensation that you can get from the insurance company. A biomechanical engineer can assist in proving that quadriplegia or paraplegia may have resulted anyway, or that more serious injury or death would likely have occurred if your seat belt was worn.