Patient with hand on his back in front of a doctor with a model of a spinal cord

Is it Possible to Have a Spinal Cord Injury and Not Know it?

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) means that a person has sustained damage to any part of the spinal cord, including spinal cord nerves. Severe spinal cord injuries can cause permanent damage and impact a person's strength, touch sensations, and other body functions below the injury site. While some spinal cord injuries are prevalent and can be seen right away, others may go undetected. Read on to learn why someone may not realize they have a spinal cord injury.

The Delayed Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury can show up in many different ways. Some symptoms may be present immediately and can range from mild to severe — and some cases life-threatening. Some symptoms may be delayed as bleeding and swelling occur in or around the spinal cord. Some of the most common symptoms associated with a spinal cord injury are:

  • Difficulty with or loss of movement
  • Loss of sensations (unable to feel heat or cold, or lack of touch sensation)
  • Spasms
  • Pain or stinging sensations
  • Breathing difficulties

More extreme symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include:

  • Extreme back pain
  • Pressure in the neck, head, or back
  • Weakness/paralysis in any part of the body
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty walking
  • Lack of balance
  • Neck or back is presenting in an odd position

What Are The Top Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

According to a 2013 study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the most common cause of spinal cord injuries is motor vehicle accidents and accounted for 31.5% of all spinal cord injuries noted in the study followed by:

  • Falls (25.3%)
  • Gunshot wounds (10.4%)
  • Motorcycle crashes (6.8%)
  • Diving accidents (4.7%)
  • Medical/surgical complications (4.3%)

The report also noted that spinal cord injuries were more prevalent on weekends and in the warmer months, related to the increases in motor vehicle- and motorcycle-related crashes.

Healing From a Spinal Cord Injury

Sadly, spinal cord injuries are permanent, and the long-term consequences can be devastating, posing both physical and psychological pain. However, due to medical advancements in treatments and many support groups offering resources for those living with an SCI, there are more options in managing the condition. If you've been involved in a motor vehicle crash or any other type of accident, it's critical to seek medical attention, even if you aren't experiencing immediate symptoms. Addressing a spinal cord injury early on can make a difference in the recovery process and plan for future care in managing your SCI.

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. Today.

Sustaining a catastrophic injury such as permanent spinal cord damage is a devastating experience for anyone to endure. It makes it that much more difficult when someone else's negligence caused the injury. Many people living with spinal cord injuries are subjected to life-long treatments, therapies, and doctor's visits to manage the condition — and this means mounting medical costs for the victim and their families. You shouldn't have to worry about how you are going to pay your medical expenses. You deserve to have peace of mind knowing there's someone in your corner fighting for your rights. Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. is here to support you throughout the entire process. Let us handle the insurance companies and hold the responsible parties accountable for their careless actions so you can focus on healing from your injuries.

Don't fight the insurance companies alone after sustaining an injury from an accident. Contact Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. today at (916) 229-6755 or send us a message to discuss your case.