In a motor vehicle accident, the spinal cord can be twisted, bent, pinched or severed. These injuries can dramatically impact the body’s functions. Depending on the type of collision and the severity of the spinal cord damage suffered, an individual could face paralysis.
Based on the type of injury and the level of damage suffered, a victim could struggle with different types of paralysis. Commonly, there are four types of paralysis, each affecting different areas of the body, including:
- Monoplegia: In some instances, spinal cord damage could lead to paralysis of a single limb. In general, victims of monoplegia retain sensations and their control over the remaining regions of the body but cannot move the affected limb.
- Hemiplegia: Depending on the type of damage to the spinal cord, the victim could potentially suffer from hemiplegia. This type of paralysis affects both an arm and leg on the same side of the body. The degree of paralysis is unique to each individual and it might progress or diminish over time.
- Paraplegia: While paraplegia might impact certain internal organs, it is generally known for affecting the legs. Typically, the individual loses a certain degree of movement and sensation to both legs with paraplegia.
- Quadriplegia: In what is considered the most severe form of paralysis, quadriplegia is paralysis below the neck. While the degree of disability and loss of function varies from person to person, individuals experience a loss of sensation and control to all four limbs as well as numerous internal organs.
Depending on the type of vehicle collision and any history of medical issues, a vehicle occupant might struggle with spinal cord damage after a crash. In general, the higher up on the spinal column the damage appears, it can lead to different severity of paralysis. Additionally, the completeness of the damage can greatly impact the severity of the injury.
After a motor vehicle collision, it is crucial that you seek medical care and a complete diagnosis as soon as possible.