Skip to main content

Spinal Cord Injuries

What is a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury occurs when damage is done to the spinal cord or the cauda equina nerves located at its base. This can severely impact communication between the brain and body, leading to lasting effects on physical strength, sensory perception, and other bodily functions. In addition to physical consequences, spinal cord injuries can also have a significant impact on an individual's mental and social well-being.

Spinal cord injuries vary significantly in their impact on motor and sensory functions, with the extent of damage being categorized into two primary types:

  • Complete spinal cord injury leads to irreversible harm to the impacted segment. Such an injury can result in conditions like paraplegia or tetraplegia, which are typically permanent due to the totality of nerve damage.
  • Incomplete spinal cord injury signifies partial damage, offering a spectrum of possible outcomes. The extent of movement and sensory experience one retains hinges on the specific location of the spinal cord that's been injured and the degree of the injury itself.


What are symptoms of a spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s functionality and overall well-being. NeuroSpine Plus specializes in diagnosing and managing such complex injuries. Individuals with spinal cord damage may experience:

  • Impaired Mobility: Depending on the severity, this could range from reduced mobility to complete paralysis.
  • Sensory Changes: Alterations in sensitivity can occur, affecting how one perceives temperature, touch, and proprioception.
  • Autonomic Dysfunctions: These might include inconsistencies with bladder and bowel control.
  • Spasms and Reflex Issues: An increase in muscle reflexes or spasms is common post-injury.
  • Sexual Health Concerns: Including changes in sexual sensation, function, and reproductive fertility.
  • Neuropathic Pain: Pain or severe stinging feeling may develop due to nerve damage within the spinal cord.
  • Respiratory Difficulties: Challenges with respiration, such as difficulty breathing or effectively clearing lung secretions, may present.

The path to recovery and management of spinal cord injuries is comprehensive, demanding prompt diagnosis and specialized care. Should you observe any of the symptoms described above, consult with our experts at Neurospine Plus to seek appropriate guidance and take the first step toward rehabilitation.

What are common causes of a spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by incidents that result in excessive flexing, compression, or trauma to the spinal column. Causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • High-impact falls from significant heights

  • Vehicular collisions, including accidents involving cars, motorcycles, or pedestrians

  • Sports where intense physical contact or high-risk maneuvers are involved

  • Spinal infections that lead to an accumulation of pus around the spinal cord

  • Complications during childbirth that may cause damage to the cervical spine

At NeuroSpine Plus, we stress the importance of safety measures and preventative tactics to mitigate the risk of such injuries. When they do occur, our team of neurosurgeons is equipped with the latest in medical technology and treatment options to address and manage the impacts of your spinal cord injury.

What are the treatments for spinal cord injuries?

Treatment plans may include surgical interventions such as decompression or fusion surgeries to stabilize the spine and alleviate pressure on the spinal cord. At Neurospine Plus, patients benefit from personalized rehabilitation programs that focus on improving mobility, strength, and overall functionality. Neurospine Plus prioritizes a patient-centered approach, tailoring each treatment plan to the individual's specific condition and goals, ultimately striving to enhance the quality of life for those affected by spinal cord injuries.

Spinal Cord Injury FAQ

Spinal cord injuries are uncommon. It’s estimated that each year, these injuries affect between a quarter to half a million individuals around the world. In the United States, annually, there are approximately 18,000 new cases of traumatic spinal cord injuries.

Automobile accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for over one-third of all spinal cord injuries.

Spinal cord injuries are associated with a range of serious and often irreversible complications. The degree of impairment following a spinal cord injury hinges on the level at which the spinal cord has been affected. Individuals with such injuries may experience a disruption of motor functions and sensation in the body areas situated below the point of injury, potentially leading to varying degrees of paralysis including: 

Tetraplegia, also referred to as “quadriplegia,” signifies the loss of control and sensation initiating at the neck, indicative of damage to the cervical region of the spinal cord. The extent of tetraplegia can differ widely, influenced heavily by the precise location and severity of the spinal injury.

Paraplegia pertains to paralysis that impacts only the lower portions of the body. This condition is typically the result of harm to the spinal cord’s thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions. Though paraplegia influences body functions from the chest downward, the specific effects are determined by the exact injury site within these spinal segments.

Schedule an Appointment