How Does a Spinal Cord Injury Affect the Body?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are very common with car, truck and motorcycle accidents. Damage to your brain and/or spinal areas can generate long-term disabilities, and in some cases death. If you are in a car, truck or motorcycle accident make sure you have a brain scan done immediately and continue to follow through with more scans as traumatic brain injury tends to get worse with time.

If you have been in an accident, you may qualify for a Personal Injury Settlement, and if your accident was caused by the negligence of someone else you should contact us. Speak with one of our personal injury lawyers experienced in motorcycle accident cases today and get assistance on what you need to do to protect your rights. Call us at 800-218-4243.

Motorcycle accidents may often end with the rider having a spinal cord injury. This begins at the instant of injury when the bone is fragmented, disc compression occurs, bruising of ligaments and then those damaged tissues penetrate the spinal cord. Neurons and/or axons of neurons may be damaged or even broken beyond repair.

This, in turn, allows for the excessive release of neurotransmitters that cause overexcitation of neighboring neurons that activates a destructive process known as excitotoxicity which kills surrounding neurons and their supportive cells. Blood vessels will rupture causing heavy internal bleeding into the spinal column which can spread some distance along the cord over the next few hours after injury.

The spinal canal begins to swell cutting off blood flow locally and distally preventing much-needed oxygen and nutrients from reaching neural tissue. Your blood pressure and heart rate drop as your body loses the ability to self-regulate and this also interferes with neural activity. These changes may cause what is called spinal shock that can last several hours to several days.


What is Spinal Shock?

Spinal shock occurs in about half the cases of spinal cord injuries. During spinal shock, undamaged parts of the spinal cord become temporarily disabled and won’t be able to communicate with the brain. Paralysis might develop with the general loss of reflexes and sensations in your limbs.

The damage to axons and neuronal cell bodies of the spinal cord is the beginning of the devastation that is to come. This initial injury sets off a biochemical cascade and a variety cellular events that strips axons of their fat wrapping insulators decreasing their ability to send electrical signals kills neurons and initiates an inflammatory response from the immune system causing massive swelling because the blood-brain-barrier has been compromised allowing white blood cells to enter the brain.

Under normal conditions, white blood cells cannot enter the brain and for good reasons. Your white blood cells see your brain as foreign matter and attack it. This, in turn, causes the excessive production of free radicals. The free radicals then attack and disable molecules that are necessary for cell function and halts normal metabolic pathways. After this damage has passed, the area of destruction has increased to several segments above and below the original injury site and of course, the extent of disability has increased as well.

All of the secondary damage which includes restricted blood flow, excess transmitter release, inflammation, free radical generation, and cell death increase the initial injury area of the spinal cord. Axons that are injured lose function either because they have been stripped of their insulators or because they have become disconnected from the brain. Some neurons may be able to repair themselves if they are not badly damaged. However, neurons that are badly damaged will end up as scar tissue which creates a barrier to any regeneration and possibility for reconnecting with the brain decreasing the amount of recovery you can achieve.

Your injury lawyer can provide information on medical therapies, doctor contacts and advise you of your legal rights as well as guide you through all the necessary steps to ensure settlement success.

We are experienced in all accidents involving spinal/brain injuries and can guide you through a potential personal injury settlement. If you’ve been in an accident, it is important that you consult with a local injury attorney before you attend a Defense Medical Exam (DME), and don’t ask a doctor for advice. You must have the proper medical tests done to qualify for a Defense Medical Exam and you need to have copies of all your medical records. For that reason, you need to contact an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your personal injury attorney can tell you what exams you need, what copies you need of medical reports, what doctors to contact and guide you every step of the way. Call the experienced personal injury law firm of the Ohio-based Chester Law Group today to get the help you want from people that you can trust at 800-218-4243.