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Complications of a Spinal Cord Injury

What Types of Complications Are Associated With a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries may come with complications. Since each spinal cord injury patient has a different vertebral segment damaged, complications may vary. It is encouraged for those who have a spinal cord injury to get it checked out often by a specialist and/or see a therapist. Although this type of injury is not curable, seeking professional assistance can help enhance a spinal cord injury patient’s life.

Below, our qualified spinal cord injury attorneys will go into detail of each possible complication a spinal cord injury patient may go through. If you have any further questions about spinal cord injuries or would like to pursue a personal injury claim, please contact our 24/7 legal team by calling 213-927-3700  or filling out our quick contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Common Types of Spinal Cord Injury Complications 

When an individual suffers from a spinal cord injury, there are several complications that may emerge. This includes having problems with:

  • Bladder control. Since the message carrier has been damaged, your brain will not be capable of controlling your bladder properly. This could increase the chances of getting a urinary tract infection. You may also experience a kidney infection or kidney stones. However, if you are in rehabilitation, you will learn certain tactics that will help you empty your bladder. 
  • Bowel movement. After a spinal cord injury, a reflexic bowel may occur. A reflexic bowel will disrupt messages sent between the colon and the brain that are passed on by the spinal cord. Since you are unable to feel your bowel movements, your stool will start to build up in your rectum. This can cause a reflex bowel movement. For an areflexic bowel, your reflex control in your anal sphincter will decrease. You will also be unable to feel your bowel movement. Your rectum can’t empty itself either. To resolve these issues, you may be offered rehabilitation. The therapist(s) will help you learn new techniques that will improve your bowel movements. 
  • Blood clot. Strokes may result in a blood clot blocking the arteries that are supplying the spinal cord. A blood clot could take place in these arteries or may also be formed in a blood vessel in other parts of the body. It could then travel in the bloodstream and head directly to the spine.
  • Pneumonia. Injuring your spine will increase the chances of you suffering from a respiratory tract infection. The chest and abdominal muscles may become weakened. These body parts are vital for deep breathing and coughing, so having them injured will increase chances of getting pneumonia. 
  • Chronic pain. This is common after an individual sustains a spinal cord injury.
  • Depression. Due to intense pain, procedures, and treatments, individuals may develop depression. They could experience a variety of emotions because of their spinal cord injury. Symptoms may include:
  • Frustration,
  • Anger,
  • Anxiety,
  • Lack of motivation,
  • Fatigue, 
  • Suicidal thoughts,
  • Insomnia
  • Hopelessness, 
  • Emptiness, or
  • Irritability. 
  • Sexual health. After a spinal cord injury, an individual’s sexuality, fertility, and sexual function will be impacted. Men will become more aware of changes made to their erection or ejaculation. Women will start to notice changes with their lubrication. It is recommended to see a doctor that primarily specializes in urology or fertility to help with this problem. 
  • Osteoporosis or osteopenia. This is a prior complication to a spinal cord injury. When an individual develops either disease, they will be more prone to having a spinal cord injury after falling. This happens primarily because the individual’s bones are thinned and weakened. Impact to the bones will result in a fracture due to its fragile nature.  
  • Autonomic dysreflexia. This is common with spinal cord injuries. Autonomic dysreflexia occurs when there is an excessive amount of high blood pressure. Symptoms of this problem include:
  • Nausea,
  • Headache,
  • Red blotches on the skin that is above the level of spinal cord injury,
  • Slow heart rate,
  • Goose bumps that are below the level of spinal cord injury,
  • Cold skin below the level of spinal injury, or
  • Sweating that is above the level of spinal cord injury.
  • No feeling in the skin. You may lose skin sensation below the level of your spinal cord injury. This makes it difficult for your skin to send a message to your brain when it gets injured. If you are undergoing rehabilitation, you will be taught proper skin care routines that will help you avoid your sensation-related problems. 
  • Fitness and health. Once you suffer a spinal cord injury, it will be difficult or nearly impossible to move your body the same way you did prior to your injury. You may experience either weight loss or gain, depending on your body type. Furthermore, you could be at risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.  

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you are a victim of spinal cord injury due to another individual’s negligence, West Coast Trial Lawyers has certified spinal cord injury attorneys with over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. We will help you recover economic and non-economic damages. This includes medical expenses, emotional distress, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. 

No fees will be charged until your case has been settled. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation with the attorneys at our firm. Reach out to our 24/7 legal team by calling 213-927-3700  or filling out our contact form.

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