The most serious spinal cord injuries include quadriplegia, which can involve a complete loss of movement and sensation in all four limbs and paraplegia, which can cause a complete loss of movement and sensation in the lower extremities. But not all spinal cord injuries cause a complete loss of function or loss of sensation. These spinal cord injuries are called incomplete injuries.
Incomplete spinal cord injuries may be so mild that the injury victim has almost no muscle weakness or signs he or she has a spinal cord injury. In severe cases, an incomplete injury can be so severe that it seems like the victim have a complete spinal cord injury. Most cases fall somewhere in between, according to Craig Hospital, a nationally recognized brain and spinal cord injury treatment center.
The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) uses a neurological classification of spinal cord injuries that includes a scale of impairment. There are five categories, A through E. A is a complete spinal cord injury. E is normal function. B-D are types of incomplete spinal cord injuries.
According to Craig Hospital, people with incomplete spinal cord injuries may have a better chance of recovering some function, at least early in the recovery period. A study of all new spinal cord injuries in the state in which the hospital is located found that one in seven people who were paralyzed immediately after an injury recovered a significant amount of movement. However, three of four of those who still had some movement in their legs immediately after injury made a significant recovery.
Even a spinal cord injury victim makes a good recovery, his or her life is likely to be significantly changed by the event. If the injury comes from another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney can pursue damages to cover medical costs, pain and suffering and other damages.
Source: Craig Hospital, “Incomplete SCIs: The Early Days”