While all back injuries are painful and can be crippling, spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are especially severe and debilitating. You will find that there are primarily two main categories of SCIs. Incomplete and Complete. When you suffer an accident that injures your spinal cord, the severity will range between these two. Before these types are discussed, you need to know about the different grades of spinal cord injuries treated by our orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary.
The ISNCSCI (International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury) states that each type of spinal cord injury is graded on an alphabetical scale of A to E. The different levels signify the varying grades of impairment in the spinal cord.
While the Grade A injury is an indication of complete SCI, a Grade E represents an SCI that didn't result in a loss of Motor functions or sensation. That being said, a Grade E can still be an indication of other issues that could be just as serious as a Grade A injury.
Put simply, an incomplete SCI is a partially impeding contusion on the spinal cord, stretching, spinal cord that is partially severed, pressure on the spinal cord, foreign bodies, or bone fragments embedded and/or affecting the spinal cord. The results of these incomplete injuries are lessened sensory and/or motor functions. Many SCI survivors of these injuries recover partial function overtime. This is, however, influenced by health and medical history.
Another thing you should know about incomplete SCIs, they have two different subtypes. Tetraplegia, and paraplegia. Tetraplegia is more commonly called quadriplegia. High levels of damage can cause injury to all four limbs and torso. Paraplegia is referred to partial paralysis. This is most common on lower extremities.
Like incomplete SCIs, you will find both tetraplegia and paraplegia classifications. Thankfully, less than 40% of SCIs are classified as complete tetraplegia and paraplegia. Complete SCIs are those which cause permanent damage to areas of the spinal cord. These types of injuries are indicated by an absolute lack of sensory and motor functions below the spinal cord's injury.
According again to the NSCISC, vehicle accidents are the most common cause of SCIs. Falls and acts of violence come in 2nd and 3rd place. Sports-related incidents and medical issues are also common causes of SCIs. When it comes to preventing spinal cord injuries, make sure you are always wearing your seat belt in vehicles. Follow safety regulations at work and be careful when working around the home to help reduce your chances of falls.
Never take back pain likely. If you are in an accident and even mild discomfort appears as a result, then make sure you are scene by an orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary immediately.