With over 12,000 spinal cord injuries every year in the United States no one is immune. It has been discovered, however, that young men are more likely to suffer this kind of injury. Car accidents cause the majority of spinal cord injuries in the USA, accounting for close to 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries each year. However, the risk of suffering from a spinal cord injury increases with certain jobs, and can be a common work-related injury. Read on for three common work-related spinal cord injuries.
Nerve Damage and Loss of Sensation
Nerve damage and loss of sensation is the most common work-related injury, and fortunately, also the least serious. Nerve damage and a loss of sensation are commonly caused by repetitive actions. Many jobs require repetitive actions throughout the day, meaning many jobs can result in repetitive stress injuries. In fact, 60 percent of all job-related injuries are repetitive stress injuries.
While repetitive stress injuries can occur in any part of the body, they are common in the back for those who work jobs that require pipe setting, sawing, jack-hammering or general mechanic work. A repetitive strain injury that targets the back can result in back pain, tingling, numbness and weakness.
Incomplete Cord Injuries or Partial Paralysis
An incomplete spinal cord injury is more serious than nerve damage or the loss of sensation brought about by repetitive stress injuries. A partial or incomplete spinal cord injury that could result from work would include Anterior Cord Syndrome. Anterior Cord Syndrome is where the front of the spinal cord is injured, which decreases an individual’s ability to feel pain and temperature. However, it is possible to regain the sense of touch and it is possible to regain movement.
Posterior Cord Syndrome occurs when the back of the spinal cord is injured. When an individual suffers from this injury, they are unable to perceive the positioning of their own body, but can retain motor movement. These symptoms are similar to Brown-Sequard Syndrome, an injury where the middle of the spinal cord is injured.
This type of injury can affect individuals who work with vehicles, with heavy machinery, or who do heavy lifting. Truck drivers and individuals who work in construction are at risk. As Brown-Sequard Syndrome generally occurs from a gunshot or stab wound, those working around guns are more at risk.
Complete Cord Injuries
A complete cord injury results in paralysis. Paraplegia is when an individual loses motor control of both legs, while quadriplegia is a spinal cord injury where an individual loses motor control of both arms and both legs. Individuals who are at risk of traffic accidents, assault, or falls while at work are most at risk of this kind of spinal cord injury.
Accidents can happen in the workplace, and unfortunately, spinal cord injuries can be the result. Spinal cord injuries can be irreversible, so it is a good idea to get the help of an experienced legal professional if you or someone you know has suffered from a work-related spinal cord injury. A legal professional will hold your employers responsible, and ensure you receive the compensation necessary to cover any ongoing medical costs or to help you through financial hardships.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury or other serious injury as a result of an accident in the workplace, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. For more information, please visit the website of Maguire Law Firm, a workers’ compensation law firm located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at www.MaguireLawFirm.com.