THE SPINAL CORD
The spine is vital to the movement of the muscles in the body. The spinal cord is the essential body part that coordinates muscle and joint movement. The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system. The spinal cord is a long column of neural tissue that is located inside the spinal cavity. The higher tip of the spinal cord joins the medulla oblongata of the brain. The spinal cord stretches to the level of the second lumbar vertebra in the spinal column. Then at the bottom end, the spinal cord becomes a group of nerve roots known as cauda equine. The spinal cord is protected because is within the central opening of each bony vertebra. When the spinal cord is injured, the ability to walk or move is severely impaired.
SPINAL INJURY SYMPTOMS
When the spinal cord is injured, the spinal cord nerves impulses to specific spinal nerves are damaged and this causes partial or complete loss of sensation and possible paralysis. Lower spinal injury causes paralysis of the legs. A injury to the upper spinal cord causes paralysis of all four upper body extremities. Without nerve impulses to the spine, the spinal muscles lose their tone and firmness and eventually waste away.
TREATMENT FOR SPINAL INJURY
Once this injury has occurred, the person is transported to the hospital on a specially equipped gurney that will hold the spine securely in place. This is a strong spinal board, with a cervical collar in place, and the head is taped to the board to prevent head movement. Head movement in a spinal cord injury can result in even more severe spinal cord injury.
WHAT TO DO IF INJURY HAS OCCURRED
When cord injury has occurred, get to the hospital expeditiously. When the doctor has determined the extent of the spinal cord damage, he can then ascertain the treatment plan to be implemented. This assessment and treatment plan must take effect immediately after injury so the effects of the injury will have minimal effect on the rest of the body. Surgery may be requested to mesh damaged vertebrae. In less traumatic instances, drugs named corticosteroid drugs which decrease spinal cord inflammation. When this aggressively precarious injury has taken effect, paralysis can occur almost immediately, so medical attention is imperative.
WORK RELATED SPINE INJURY
If the injury occurred due to work related job performance, please notify the supervisor immediately. The details of the injury must be divulged right after medical treatment has been implemented, and a detailed accident report documented for legal purposes. Documentation of the injury will insure accountability of all parties involved. The most important thing to remember relative to this type of injury is to get help and get help immediately.
Terry Hoaler is a writer who focuses on legal issues and personal injury law, even though he isn’t himself a personal injury attorney. He believes law should be accessible to lay persons without a law degree so he tries to understand the law and write about it clearly for others to understand.