Minnesota residents who work in highly dangerous occupations like manufacturing or construction are consciously aware of their risk of serious injury on a daily basis. Brain injuries, lost limbs and more can result from an accident that happens in a mere instant. Spinal cord injuries are also concerns to people who may be at risk of falls or being hit on or across the back with objects. Just what is the spinal cord and what types of injuries can result when it is damaged?
Medline Plus explains that there are two types of spinal cord injuries - incomplete and complete. These two terms refer to the level of paralysis or lack of sensation that results after a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is the group of nerves that runs down the back, acting as a messenger from the brain to the rest of the body. It can be damaged when broken bones in the vertebrae perforate it or when the spine places undue pressure on the nerves. When this happens, the signals travelling from the brain are essentially stopped at the point of injury. If these signals are completely blocked, the injury is said to be complete but if some transmission occurs so that the person retains some movement and sensation, the injury is referred to as incomplete.
According to WebMD, the higher up along the vertebrae that a spinal cord injury occurs, the more serious it will be because more of the body will be affected. An injury near the neck may result in a person becoming a quadriplegic whereas an injury lower down the back may result in a paraplegic state.
Spinal cord injuries require immediate attention as that gives a person the best chance for some form of recovery.