Search Site

Understanding Acute Spinal Cord Injury and Its Causes

The spinal cord is a long, thin tube of nerves that runs down the back from the brainstem to the lower back. It carries messages from the brain to the muscles, telling them to move, and sends impulses back to the brain. An acute spinal cord injury disrupts the normal messages between the brain and the body, often resulting in permanent changes in strength, sensation and bodily functions. It can also cause mental, emotional and behavioral effects.

Many spinal cord injuries are caused by traumatic events, such as car accidents, falls, sports injuries and acts of violence. These events can result in fractures, dislocations or compression of the spinal cord. 

Spinal cord injuries can also be non-traumatic, often resulting from diseases, infections, tumors or degenerative conditions. Health conditions like spinal stenosis, spina bifida or herniated discs can contribute to non-traumatic spinal cord injuries. Often these spinal conditions make a spinal cord injury from an accident worse. In that case, the law is that the at-fault party, the party causing the injury, is still responsible for the aggravation of the pre-existing spinal condition.

Certain factors may increase the likelihood of sustaining a spinal cord injury, including age, gender (men are more susceptible), engaging in risky activities and having a history of back injuries. As in the case of having a pre-existing condition, the law is favorable to injured victims in that it allows for recovery. Again, the defendant in the personal injury case is responsible to the “egg shell plaintiff” or “thin skull plaintiff,” including being responsible for the aggravation of the condition. 

The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on the location and extent of the damage. A complete spinal cord injury means that there is no sensation or voluntary movement below the level of the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury means that some sensation or movement is preserved.

Symptoms of spinal cord injury can include any of the following:

  • Loss of movement or sensation
  • Extreme back pain or pressure
  • Weakness or poor coordination
  • Tingling or numbness in limbs
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty breathing

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one, you need to seek diagnosis immediately. A spinal cord injury can be spotted through a CT (computed tomography) scan, which can detect neurological damage. A more thorough method is MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which can detect injuries involving intervertebral discs, spinal ligaments and paraspinal soft tissues. 

There is no cure for acute spinal cord injuries, but certain treatments can help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. These may include surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy and medication. The expenses associated with treatment and long-term care can be excessive and even prohibitive without adequate healthcare coverage. An attorney experienced with spinal cord injuries can analyze your case and determine whether you have the right to recover financial compensation. 

At Feinberg & Alban PC, we are relentless advocates for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries in the Greater Boston area. Call us at 617-232-5950 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation.

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • google

    I’m a college student in the Boston area who suffered a pedestrian personal injury in December of 2022. Thankfully I was put into contact with Feinberg & Alban PC and I worked closely with Robert and Perry Feinberg who treated me with respect and f...

    Read more

    Anne O'Leary

  • google

    Alexis Cahill was great, professional, and was open for me to contact on any questions I may have had during the process. Feinberg & Alban PC's services were nice as well, and I'd recommend them due to the transparency, what they were able to negotia...

    Read more

    Branden B.

  • google

    My mom had a great experience with Feinberg as her attorney, after she fell near her house, and he took her under his wing. Mr. Feinberg was helpful, very organized and kind. He helped my mom a lot, very happy with results

    Read more

    Jane sungurov

  • google

    I have been using Marsha Alban's services and advice for many years. Initially, I interviewed several lawyers, and Marsha was definitely the best! She took time to listen, she was very compassionate, and she explained everything in detail and answere...

    Read more

    Rena Sikarova

  • google

    Wish I could give higher than a 5 for this review. From the start the dedication to detail, care and skill that was applied to my case was outstanding. Robert Feinberg is exceptional at representing his clients. His depth & breadth of experience make...

    Read more

    Rose M

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form