A spinal cord injury damages a part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal and has a permanent impact on physical strength, sensation, and other body functions.
The effects of a spinal cord injury can extend to a person’s mental, emotional, and social well-being.
A spinal cord injury can cause the following symptoms:
Emergency signs of a spinal cord injury after an accident include:
Damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, spinal discs, or to the spinal cord itself can lead to spinal cord injuries.
A traumatic spinal cord injury can be caused by a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine, leading to a fracture, dislocation, crushing, or compressing of one or more of the vertebrae. A gunshot or knife wound that penetrates and cuts the spinal cord can also lead to severe damage.
Additional damage usually occurs over days or weeks after the injury as a result of bleeding, swelling, inflammation, and fluid accumulation in and around the spinal cord.
Other potential causes of spinal cord injuries include: