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What are the different types of spinal injuries?

The impact of a car accident can wreak havoc on your body. One of the most severe injuries you can suffer during a collision is a spinal cord injury.

According to Mayo Clinic, a spinal cord injury may be complete or incomplete.

Spinal injury types

A complete spinal cord injury includes a loss of sensation and movement below the spinal cord, whereas an incomplete injury includes some function below the affected area. In an incomplete injury, there may be varying degrees of the injury.

In addition to complete and incomplete injuries, you may have tetraplegia or paraplegia. In tetraplegia, your arms, trunk, legs and pelvic organs suffer the effect of your injury. With paraplegia, the paralysis affects all or part of your trunk, pelvic organs and legs.

To determine the completeness of the injury, physicians perform various exams. They may check for a loss of movement, bowel and bladder control, pain caused by damage to the nerves or difficulty breathing.

Spinal injury complications

Various complications may occur due to a spinal cord injury. One of the most common includes pressure injuries. If you lose sensation in your skin and cannot move how you used to, you may sit or lay in a prolonged position. When you do not change positions frequently, you may develop pressure sores.

Many people with spinal cord injuries also undergo muscle tone issues. For example, you may experience uncontrolled motion in your muscles or softer muscles that lack muscle tone.

To help with the complications of a spinal cord injury, a physician recommends physical therapists and other physicians to treat your specific complications.

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