Of the three major portions of the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar), the lumbar is the lowest. Since it carries the greatest weight, its vertebrae are the largest in the spine. The vertebrae and nerves are designated, from top to bottom, as L-1 to L-5. Lumbar spinal cord injuries will vary in severity based on which nerve is damaged, so Michigan residents will want to be knowledgeable about the differences.
Generally, lumbar spinal cord injuries will result in a loss of function in the legs and hips and little to no control over bowel or bladder movements. Injuries to the L-1 and L-2 nerves result in the inability to bend and flex the hips. With L-3 injuries come the compromised ability to straighten the knee. One cannot bend the foot upward with an L-4 injury. An injured L-5 nerve will keep patients from extending their toes.
After the necessary surgery is performed, and swelling goes down, patients can begin the recovery process, though its level and length will, again, depend on which nerve was damaged. Spinal cord injuries are rarely life-threatening. Depending on the strength in their legs, people may need a wheelchair or walk with braces. Many also go through rehabilitation programs.
Back injuries can result from car accidents, slips and falls and a wide range of other incidents. If victims realize that the accident may have been prevented were it not for negligence on the other side, they may be able to file a personal injury claim. If successful, a claim could cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.
It’s essential to have legal representation, though. A lawyer could hire investigators to gather evidence against the defendant, starting with the incident report. An attorney could negotiate for a reasonable settlement and resort to litigation if one cannot be achieved.