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What is a spinal cord injury?

Do you have a job at which you know falls are one of the common injuries to watch out for? Minnesota residents who work in construction or other industries that rely on the use of ladders, scaffolding, cranes and other items to get to high places often face the risk of a fall on the job. Many serious injuries or even death can result from a single fall. One such injury is a spinal cord injury.

As explained by WebMD, the spinal cord is not the spine itself but rather a group of nerves that together look like a cord and run down the length of the spine protected by the actual vertebrae. Injury to the spine itsel is different than injury to the spinal cord. Because this cord controls communication from the brain to the rest of the body, when it is injured, that communication may be stopped from the point of injury on down.

When people are rendered paraplegic or quadraplegic after an accident, it is because of a spinal cord injury. The higher up the injury occurs, a greater percentage of the body is affected so a neck injury may cause a person to be paralyzed from that point down whereas injury to the middle part of the back may cause paralysis through the legs but not in the torso or arms. People with spinal cord injuries may need treatment to relearn basic things and find new ways of doing basic life tasks. Depression and pain may result from a spinal cord injury as well.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is rather meant to give Minnesota employees an overview of spinal cord injuries.

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