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Suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury in a truck accident

No one can predict the outcome of a motor vehicle accident. However, you can garner some clues by taking the vehicles involved into account. It probably seems obvious that an accident involving an 18-wheeler will more than likely result in more serious injuries and even deadly ones.

One of those injuries could be a traumatic spinal cord injury. As the name indicates, this is an injury to the spine resulting from some form of trauma such as a truck accident. In fact, motor vehicle crashes account for a large percentage of these injuries each year.

Some facts about a traumatic SCI

When it comes to this type of injury, consider the following facts:

  • The majority of these injuries occur in motor vehicle accidents.
  • Men suffer from this injury more often than women do. In fact, it is around an 80/20 split, men to women, for those suffering from a traumatic SCI.
  • Younger people tend to be the victims of this injury in car crashes.
  • Only about 9 percent occur in the lower back area, or the lumbosacral region of the spine.
  • Around 32 percent occur in the middle back area, or the thoracic region of the spine.
  • The overwhelming majority, about 60 percent, occur in the cervical spine, or the neck and upper back.

Other causes, such as falls, tend to plague older populations such as those over the age of 60.

What do they mean by the "traumatic SCI cascade"?

Even though the initial impact causes injury, the damage can continue to occur afterward. The damage done in the impact could damage cells, which could lead to dislocation of vertebrae in your spine. When that happens, the spinal cord itself could end up compressed. Furthermore, the trauma of the initial injury can result in the following biological changes that could continue to manifest as the weeks and months go by:

  • Your spinal cord may not receive an adequate supply of blood due to non-functioning blood vessels. The medical field refers to this condition as ischemia.
  • Glial cells in your spine, which provide your nerve cells with nutrients, begin to die. This causes nerve cells to follow suit as they starve to death.
  • Your spinal cord could swell dangerously.
  • Any inflammation puts more pressure on your spinal cord, which exacerbates the original injury.

Due to these changes, your spinal cord may no longer function as originally intended. This means that, despite how well you recover, you could experience lingering effects for the rest of your life. That is, if you achieve a full recovery at all.

In either case, your life changed in the seconds during which the crash took place. If the evidence indicates that the truck driver caused the crash, you may pursue compensation that could help with your current and future medical and other needs.

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