Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when the protection surrounding your cord is damaged. Trauma, from a violent motor vehicle accident or a vicious sports injury, can cause this damage, which can result in the loss of the ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the body’s system that controls sensory and motor function. One of the terms you’ll often hear in reference to an SCI is complete or incomplete. Understanding the difference between these two injury types can help you better predict your medical needs if you are injured.

An incomplete spinal cord injury means that the ability of the spinal cord to communicate with the brain is not completely lost. Usually, some sensation is possible below the level of the injury. Others may be able to move some muscles below the site of the injury, with the extent of control dependent on the severity of the injury. Pain is another thing associated with an incomplete SCI; many survivors report issues with chronic pain.

On the other hand, a complete spinal cord injury is a total lack of sensory and motor function below the level of the injury, thus it may lead to paralysis. In the days after a spinal cord injury, the symptoms between complete and incomplete are almost indistinguishable, but over time, small differences will begin to emerge. A few characteristics of a complete SCI include loss of sensation, complete loss of motion, difficulty controlling bladder and bowels and difficulty breathing (if the injury is high enough on the body).

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, please contact our Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Roman & Gaynor today. We specialize in complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries and have the experience to get you the compensation you need for current and future needs.

Call (727) 877-1212 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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