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The Two Types of Spinal Cord Injuries


A spinal cord injury can have a devastating and life-altering impact on a person’s life. It often prevents victims from performing day-to-day functions, and deprives them of their ability to earn a living. Such a serious injury can also be financially devastating to victims and their families. After all, it’s not uncommon for victims suffering from spinal cord injuries to require life-long medical care.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Your spinal cord is comprised of messenger nerves that connect your brain to the rest of your body. This connection is interrupted if the spinal cord is partially or completely damaged. All spinal cord injuries can be divided into two categories: incomplete spinal cord injuries and complete spinal cord injuries.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

An incomplete spinal cord injury signifies that a spinal cord’s functions aren’t completely compromised. Typically, this means that a person retains some feeling or mobility below the point of injury. The overall loss of function and bodily sensation often varies on a case-by-case basis.

Examples of incomplete spinal cord injuries include:

  • Anterior cord syndrome
  • Cauda equine lesion
  • Anterior cord syndrome
  • Central cord syndrome
  • Brown-Séquard syndrome

Unfortunately, many incomplete spinal cord injury victims often experience chronic pain because they retain a modicum of sensation.

Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

A complete spinal cord injury occurs when the brain is unable to send any signals below the point of injury, leading to some form of paralysis.

Examples of paralysis include:

  • Paraplegia: the complete paralysis of a victim’s lower body
  • Tetraplegia: the complete paralysis of a victim’s body below the neck

Both paraplegics and tetraplegics require lifetime medical and personal care. Tetraplegics, in particular, often need the support of a ventilator because the muscles that facilitate breathing have been paralyzed.

Pursue Compensation with Our Personal Injury Attorneys

Contact Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP if you or a loved one require legal representation due to the negligent actions of another person or entity. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys can evaluate your case, help you file a claim, and guide you in seeking financial compensation for medical expenses and loss of wages.

Call our personal injury lawyers at (888) 998-2031 to learn more about your legal options.