There are four segments of the spinal cord: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. Each segment of the spine protects various groups of nerves that manage the body. The kinds of spinal cord injuries and their varying degrees of seriousness are dependent on which section of the spinal cord has been injured.
The Cervical part of the spine is found at the top part of the spinal cord, made up of seven vertebrae, C1 through C7, in the neck.
Being closer in proximity to the brain and impacting a more substantial portion of the body, cervical spinal cord injuries are usually the most critical kinds of injury to the spinal cord. If an injury occurs to the cervical area, it will result in tetraplegia/quadriplegia, signifying there is restricted feeling or movement, or absent feeling or movement below the neck and shoulders.
Cervical spine injuries frequently involve lifelong partial or complete loss of sensory functions and other relevant difficulties. As is the problem with all injuries to the spinal cord, injuries positioned higher up on the spine will be more critical, with high cervical spinal cord injuries usually being fatal.
After swelling in the spinal cord has gone down and any required surgery is completed, patients are able to stabilize and start the process of recovery.
The lumbar spine includes the lowest significant portion of the spinal cord, the five vertebrae, L1 through L5, underneath the thoracic region, and above the minor sacral spine region. The lumbar spine bears the most weight of any of the segments of the spinal cord and, as a result, has larger vertebrae than the cervical and thoracic regions of the spine.
Injuries to the spinal cord that occur within the five lumbar vertebrae commonly result in some loss of use of the legs and hips but will not impact the functionality of the upper body.
|Spinal Nerve Affected:||Specific Muscle Function Affected:|
|L-1 and L-2||Hip bending and flexing|
|L-4||Bend foot upward|
After swelling decreases and any urgent trauma surgery is completed, victims can start the healing process.
The thoracic spine is found in the middle and upper portion of the back. Twelve vertebrae are positioned in the thoracic spine and are numbered T-1 through T-12. Every number matches to a bundle of nerves in that area of the spinal cord:
The thoracic spine is designed for stability and helps to keep the body erect. It joins the cervical spine, which is found in the neck, and the lumbar spine, which is found in the lower back.
|Thoracic Nerve Section||Area of Body Affected|
|T-1||Hands and fingers|
|T-2 – T-5||Chest muscles|
|T-6 – T-8||Chest and abdominal muscles|
|T-9 – T-12||Abdominal muscles|
Prognosis and rehabilitation after a thoracic spinal cord injury will vary from patient to patient. These differences are due to the kind of injury and the degree of severity.
A victim’s health also plays a role in determining the level of self-sufficiency obtained following an injury. This includes existing medical conditions, the patient’s body type and other injuries that may have taken place at the time as the injury to the spinal cord.
Victims who have suffered a thoracic spinal cord injury might be able to:
The sacral spine, also known as the sacrum, is found under the lumbar spine and above the coccyx, more commonly known as the tailbone. Five bones are fused together to comprise the triangle-shaped sacrum, and these bones are numbered S-1 through S-5. Every number matches to a bundle of nerves in that part of the spinal cord:
Pelvic organs are governed by the nerves in the sacral portion of the spine. These organs include the sex organs, bowels, and bladder.
Damage to the sacral spine is rare and may only occur with a serious injury, such as a fall or trauma directly to the area. People who have osteoporosis or arthritis may develop stress fractures in the sacrum.
Prognosis and recovery from a sacral spinal cord injury differ from patient to patient. The difference is due to the type of injury and the level of severity.
A patient’s health is also a factor in determining the level of independence achieved after an injury. This includes body type, existing medical conditions and other injuries that may have occurred at the time of the spinal cord injury.
If someone you love has suffered from a spinal cord injury as the result of another person’s negligence, then you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for damages. You need a reputable personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these kinds of cases.
If you are seeking legal representation for a pending lawsuit and you want an attorney who is esteemed, qualified, and knowledgeable in handling these sorts of injury cases, then the personal injury attorneys at the Injury Victim Law offices are just who you’re looking for.
If you would like a free consultation with one of our skilled personal injury attorneys regarding a case you feel you may have, we are here to help. Please reach out to us by calling (800) 245-2774 to schedule your appointment for your free consultation today.