Spinal cord Injuries/Paralysis from work

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Senior man with lower and upper back painWhat is a spinal cord injury?

Is there any treatment?

 Usually begins with a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that

fractures or dislocates vertebrae

 The damage begins at the moment of injury when displaced bone

fragments, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into the spinal

cord tissue

 Most injuries to the spinal cord do not completely sever it; more

likely to cause fractures and compression of vertebrae when then

crush and destroy the axon which are extensions of nerve cells that

carry signals up and down the spinal cord between the brain and

the rest of the body

 An injury to the spinal cord can damage a few, many, or almost all

of these axons

 Some injuries will almost completely recover, while others will

result in complete paralysis

 Improved emergency care for people with spinal cord injuries and

aggressive treatment and rehab can minimize damage to nervous

system and even restore limited abilities.

 Respiratory complications are often an indication of the severity of

spinal cord injury

 The steroid drug methylprednisolone appears to reduce the damage

to nerve cells if it is given within the first 8 hours after injury

 Rehab programs combine physical therapies with skill-building

activities and counseling to provide social and emotional support

 Electrical stimulation of nerves can help improve specific

functions such as bladder, breathing, coughing, etc.

 Roger C. Peace

 Only program of its kind in the state of SC accredited by

 Serves as part of a continuum of services offered to

the Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation


personals with spinal cord injury through shared therapists,

consistent treatment protocols, and training of acute

personnel and community education

 Shepherd Center

 Shepherd Center specializes in spinal cord injuries,

 There are several different specialized treatment plans for

allowing the staff to be very specialized and practiced in

their field

those who might not fit the average plan, as well as

advanced treatment plans and outpatient programs

 Accredited by CARF

 Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation

 Part of the Carolinas HealthCare System (serving both NC

and SC), it is one of the largest not-for-profit rehabilitation

providers in the US

 Able to offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment for

spinal cord injuries

 Located near one of the nation’s leading hospitals, allowing

for trusted medical assistance

 Accredited by CARF

o What is the prognosis?

 Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete

 People who survive a spinal cord injury will most likely have

 Surgery is often necessary to relieve compression of the spinal

 Incomplete- the ability of the spinal cord to convey

messages to or from the brain is not completely lost; people

retain some motor or sensory function below the injury

 Complete- indicated by total lack of sensory and motor

function below the level of injury

medical complications such as chronic pain and bladder and bowel

dysfunction; successful recovery depends on how well these

chronic conditions are handled day to day


 http://www.ghs.org/?id=297&sid=1#.VaafHRPBzGc

 http://www.shepherd.org/about/why-choose-shepherd

 http://www.carolinashealthcare.org/rehabilitation-inpatient-spinal-cord-injury

 http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sci/sci.htm

Have you or your loved one obtained a spinal cord injury while you were working?

Injuries to the spinal cord can be lifelong problems and it is normal to feel overwhelmed

when thinking about the next step. It is important to get the proper treatment for your

injury before it becomes any worse. Spinal cord injuries are serious and you deserve to

receive the best possible care that can be offered to you so that the impact on your day-to-

day life is as small as possible.

A spinal cord injury is usually caused by sudden blow to the spine that impacts the

vertebrae. The damage to the spinal cord begins the second that the injury occurs because

the spinal disc material or the displaced bone fragments that are impacted tear into the

spinal cord. Most of the time, when someone injuries their spinal cord, it is not

completely torn through, only partially. This does not mean that the injury is not critical,

though, because fractures and compression of the vertebrae can still occur. These injuries

destroy the axon in the spinal cord, which are the extensions of the nerve cells that carry

the signals from the brain to the rest of the body through the spinal cord. Sometimes, only

a few axons are harmed, while in other cases, many are affected. Some spinal injuries

will cause complete paralysis, whereas others can almost completely recover.

To effectively treat a spinal cord injury, it is very important that the emergency care is

aggressive and that a rehabilitation plan is in place to restore as many abilities as possible

and keep nerve damage limited. The amount of respiratory complications that a person

has can help a doctor determine the severity of the injury. There is a steroid drug called

methylprednisolone that might be ale to reduce the nerve damage if it is taken within

eight hours of the accident. Electrical stimulation of the nerves can help specific parts of

your body react better, such as your bladder, breathing, arm/leg movements, etc. Rehab

programs provide a combination of physical therapies and counseling to allow for a

holistic approach to treatment and can help you recover both physically and emotionally

from your injury.

There are three main rehabilitation centers in this region that can help with spinal cord

injuries. Roger C. Peace is located in Greenville, SC and is the only program of its’ kind

in the state of South Carolina that is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of

Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) which has high standards and is recognized nationally.

Their spinal cord injury program serves as a continuum of services that are offered to

people with spinal cord injuries including therapists, consistent treatment protocols, and

thorough specialized training of employees. The Shepherd Center is located in Atlanta,

GA and the whole center is specialized in brain and spinal cord injuries, allowing their

staff to be very specialized and have a great amount of practice in the field. There are

several different treatment plans for those people that might not present as typical, as well

as both inpatient and outpatient programs. It is also accredited by CARF. Finally, the

Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation is located in Charlotte, NC. It is part of the Carolinas

HealthCare System that serves North Carolina and South Carolina and is one of the

largest not-for-profit rehab providers in the US. It is able to offer both inpatient and

outpatient services and is located near one of the nation’s leading hospitals, allowing for

trusted medical care. This center is accredited by CARF as well.

Spinal cord injuries can be labeled as either incomplete or complete. If a spinal cord

injury is classified as incomplete, it means that the spinal cord’s ability to get messages to

and from the brain is not completely gone. People with these types of injuries retain some

sensory or motor abilities below the level of the injury. Those that are classified with a

complete spinal cord injury totally lack sensory and motor abilities below their injury.

Surgery is often needed to relive the compression that the spinal cord is in. Those who

survive a spinal cord injury typically have some kind of medical complication such as

chronic pain and bladder and bowel dysfunction. The complete and successful recovery

of someone with a spinal cord injury depends on how well these types of conditions are


Worrying about your employer’s insurance coverage should not be something that you

need to deal with alone. We at the Dan Pruitt Law Firm are experts in dealing with cases

like these and we would like to take the stress off of your shoulders and let you focus on

healing. Call us today at 8642324273 for a free consultation.

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