Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms and Facts

Spinal cord injury is defined as damage to the cells within the spine or the severing of the nerve tracts that send signals up and down the cord as a result of some accident or event. The common types include the following:

– Contusion: bruised tissue

– Compression: harm caused by excessive pressure on the backbone

– Laceration: nerve fibers torn or severed

– Central Cord Syndrome: region-specific damage


When a person suffers from one of the accidents listed above, doctors will check for certain symptoms to determine the extent of harm done. Some signs that a person has potentially been badly hurt include:

– Loss of sensation

– Loss of reflex

– Sensitivity to touch

– Pain

– Paralysis

There are the some of the more serious problems, and the chief concerns for medical workers following an accident that could have affected the backbone. Most people consider paralysis the primary result of damage to the central nervous system (CNS). Not every such injury results in paralysis, but is certainly a scary possibility. In fact, over 250,000 Americans live with paralysis caused by accidents or assaults.


These life-changing afflictions can occur as a result of several different accidents. The most common cause is automobile crashes, causing about 47% of all cases of trauma-induced impairment. About 24% of these wounds are caused by falls, 14% from acts of violence and 9% from sports-related incidents.

Other Important Facts

– Males account for almost 78% of cases of CNS damage

– Over 50% of CNS trauma victims are single

– The average number of days spent in the hospital due to backbone damage is 15

– The average number of days spent in a rehabilitation center is 39

– Those who have paralysis of both the arms and legs spend on average $741,425 the year of the accident and $132,807 each year after

– Those who experience paraplegia (paralysis of the legs) spend on average $270,913 and $27,568 each year after