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Long-Term Spinal Cord Injury Consequences


Each year in America, 17,700 people acquire a spinal cord injury (SCI). Most of them happen due to being involved in a vehicle collision.

Damage to the spinal cord disrupts the messages from the brain to the rest of the body and can result in various forms of impairment. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should understand the possible long-term consequences of this particular injury.

You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.

This is what you need to know about spinal cord injuries and how a car accident settlement can help.


Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, as any form of trauma to this part of the body has damaging long-term consequences. Some injuries heal over time, but others are permanent. Even short-term side effects can cause lasting medical complications.

Paralysis is one of the most common car accident injuries.

Paralysis can be short-term or permanent. The effects largely depend on the location of the injury and the severity of the damage.

Here are some of the possible types of paralysis common among car accident victims.


People with paraplegia can’t feel or control their legs or lower body. This type of paralysis affects the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.

Individuals dealing with paraplegia lose muscle function in the lower half of the body, and this causes several complications. They cannot control movement in the legs or feet and lack bladder and bowel control.

High Tetraplegia

This type of paralysis impacts an individual’s ability to feel or move any part of the body from the neck down. This is a severe condition that requires medical intervention and assistance with breathing, bladder and bowel functions, and movement.

Low Tetraplegia

Low tetraplegia isn’t as severe as high tetraplegia, but victims might still require assistance. Individuals may be able to breathe on their own and may maintain some form of control over their arms and hands.

Tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) is the most common symptom of a traumatic spinal injury. It occurs in around 60% of cases.

Muscle Spasticity

People with spinal cord injuries frequently deal with some type of muscle spasticity, which is when the muscles contract and tighten without control.

Spinal injuries impact the normal flow of messages from the brain to and from the rest of the body. Instead of those messages getting through, the signals are sent to the motor cells, which causes muscle spasms.

Parts of the body may jerk, twitch, or tighten. It can also cause the muscles to lock in place.

This is a long-term effect that impacts many people with spinal cord injuries. While stretching exercises and medication may help, this is a complication that can affect you for the rest of your life.


Osteoporosis causes your bones to become weakened and brittle. Individuals with this condition have to be very careful, as even mild stress can cause fractures. Even minor bumps or falls can result in broken bones.

This condition is common in individuals dealing with spinal cord injuries. Many may develop it within a few years of being in an accident.

Chronic Pain

It’s common for victims of spinal injuries to struggle with chronic pain as well. This is often caused by musculoskeletal problems or nerve damage following the injury.

The degree of pain experienced by those with an SCI can vary from mild to severe. As you might expect, this can negatively impact a victim’s quality of life. They may no longer be able to participate in activities they once did, and they may need to take time away from friends, family, and work.

While treatments such as meditation and medication may provide some relief, this is one side effect of an SCI that victims deal with their entire lives.


Syringomyelia is a neurological disorder that results in cysts or cavities forming in the spinal cord. Individuals hurt in a car accident and dealing with an SCI may notice this condition months or years after the accident.

The result of Syringomyelia is numbness or weakness in the extremities. Unfortunately, this is a condition that gets worse over time. Patients are often required to undergo surgery to drain the cysts.

How a Spinal Cord Injury Affects Mental Health

Dealing with a spinal injury from a car accident and the many medical issues that follow can leave many victims feeling powerless, frustrated, angry, or depressed.

recent study found that individuals with traumatic spinal cord injuries have an increased risk of developing mental health disorders and secondary chronic diseases. It’s extremely common for people to develop depression weeks or even years after an accident. Adults with an SCI had a higher incidence of anxiety disorders as well.

As a result, many adults dealing with spinal injuries are at an increased risk of developing other medical conditions such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, diabetes, liver disease, etc.

Any damage to the spinal cord has lasting effects that can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. They may not be able to participate in activities they once did and they can lose some of their independence.

Being in a car crash is a traumatic and life-changing experience. It impacts you both physically and mentally. Victims may need therapy or medication to help them maintain a better quality of life.

You Deserve Compensation

If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident and you sustained a spinal cord injury as a result, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Spinal injuries cause many long-term and life-changing complications. Losing control of any part of your body is devastating.

Thankfully, you have options. Car accident lawyers specialize in helping victims like you. They may help you to get a settlement that helps to cover medical bills, lost wages, and more.

The sooner you act, the sooner you can get your life back on track. Our team at RHINO Lawyers can help. Schedule a free video consultation today.


In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.