Spinal cord injuries can vary considerably in severity

In our discussion last post, we mentioned that truck accidents sometimes lead to spine injuries. Such injuries, however, are not exclusive to truck crashes; they can occur in all manner of different accidents.

The causes of a spinal cord injury are not the only thing that can vary considerably when it comes to this type of injury. So too can the severity of the injury. Some spinal cord injuries irreversibly alter a person's life. Other times, a person is lucky and their injury does not have too significant of long-term effects on them. In today's post, we will go over the different severity levels of spinal cord injuries, as classified by the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale.

The least severe type of spinal cord injuries are class E injuries. These are injuries that have not caused a person's sensory and motor functions to deviate from normal.

The next three classes are different types of incomplete spinal cord injuries. An incomplete spinal cord injury is when a person has lost some, but not all, sensory or motor function below the point of the injury. Class D and class C involve injuries in which a person still has some motor function below the injury location. The difference between the two classes is that class D injuries are ones in which the level of degradation of key muscle strength below the injury point is lower while class C injuries are ones in which this level is higher. Class B injuries are ones in which a person has completely lost motor function below the injury point, but maintains some sensory function.

The last class, class A, consists of the most severe type of spinal cord injuries: complete spinal cord injuries in which a person no longer has any sensory or motor function below the injury point.

When a person suffers a spinal cord injury of any severity in an accident, it can be important to figure out what specifically caused the injury and what specific effects the injury has already had or is likely to have in the future, as these things can be significant factors if a person decides to pursue a personal injury claim over the accident. Personal injury attorneys can assist spinal cord injury victims in looking into these issues.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "Spinal Cord Injury: Hope Through Research," Accessed Sept. 12, 2014

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