You might assume spinal cord injuries only happen in serious car accidents, but SCIs range in severity and might happen as the result of falls, sports impacts or diseases.
Knowing the difference may help you understand the kind of lifestyle changes that come along with SCIs. As Disabled World reports, about 700,000 people in the United States live with an SCI. Sometimes they need to change a lot in their home and work to continue living fulfilling lives.
The difference between complete and incomplete
Your nervous system branches out down your spinal column. In most cases, the higher up the lesion on your spine, the more an SCI risks widespread potential paralysis.
Medical science defines partial paralysis of your body below the lesion as an incomplete SCI. It defines full paralysis below the lesion as complete.
Some differences between incomplete SCIs
If the lesion does not fully sever along a vertebrae, symptoms of an injury largely revolve around the location of the SCI on the spinal column.
Anterior cord syndrome refers to damage on the front of the spinal cord and this affects pain and touch, but often leaves motor function unaffected. Central cord syndrome refers to damage in the large nerve fibers that carry information from the brain and impact hand and arm function among other things.
SCIs have similar symptoms but each are unique to the person impacted by them. Regardless of the severity of your SCI, the medical costs of surgery, recovery and the equipment necessary to continue living your life are another unique hurdle for you to jump.
When seeking compensation from a negligence case or getting the most from your insurance to support you, knowing the extent of your SCI damage may help you know what to expect.