Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

personal injury | February 7, 2022

After an incident that injures a person’s spine, there could be various symptoms that the victim experiences. In some cases, the symptoms will be immediately apparent, while others may take time to develop. Every injury and every patient is unique. Some of the most common symptoms of a spine injury can include:

  • Pain or stinging sensations throughout the body
  • Extreme back pain or a feeling of pressure in the back
  • Numbness or tingling throughout the body
  • Trouble breathing
  • Altered sensations to heat or cold
  • Trouble balancing or walking
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Loss of ability to control any movement
  • Bowel or bladder control problems
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of feeling
  • Reflexive spasms
  • Sexual dysfunction

If you or a loved one have experienced an injury to your spinal cord, or suspect that a spinal injury may have occurred, please seek medical assistance immediately. It is important to understand that spinal cord injury victims should never be moved soon after they experience an injury. EMS should transport a suspected spinal injury victim to the hospital, and a trained physician should be the one to make a determination of a spine injury diagnosis and treatment plans. Then, contact an experienced Sacramento spinal cord injury lawyer to explore your legal options for compensation.

Re-hospitalization Due to a Spinal Cord Injury

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), around 30% of all people who sustained a spinal injury were re-hospitalized one or more times in any given year following their injury (data accumulated since 2015). The length of these stays averaged approximately 18 days. In most cases, the re-hospitalization did not have to do directly with their spinal cord, though the spinal cord injury indirectly caused the following to occur:

  • Genitourinary system problems
  • Skin diseases
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Digestive system problems
  • Circulatory issues
  • Musculoskeletal diseases

Injuries to the spinal cord directly or indirectly affect nearly every other bodily system, leading to higher rates of re-hospitalization than those who sustain other types of traumatic injuries.

Lowered Life Expectancy Due to a Spine Injury

Unfortunately, those who sustain a spine injury suffer higher mortality rates and a lowered life expectancy than those who do not. In most cases, injury victims suffer from a range of health problems indirectly associated with the spinal cord trauma. The NSCISC database has now been following some spinal cord injury victims for up to 45 years after their injury, which has allowed for an extensive understanding of life expectancy and causes of death.

The causes of death that appear to have the greatest impact on spinal cord injury victims’ life expectancy are pneumonia and septicemia. Over the last few decades, the mortality rate for spinal cord injury victims has been declining when it comes to death caused by cancer, stroke, heart disease, urinary diseases, digestive diseases, and suicide. Unfortunately, mortality rates have been increasing for spinal injury victims due to endocrine, metabolic and nutritional diseases, nervous system diseases, musculoskeletal disorders, accidents, and mental disorders.

Spine injury victims almost always have a lower life expectancy than those who have not suffered such injuries, regardless of the severity of the initial spinal injury. However, data shows that the more severe the injury, the lower a patient’s life expectancy will be.