Spinal injuries: The main types dissected

While some injuries might not be clear to those who don’t have a medical background, it would be fair to say that this doesn’t occur when it comes to spinal injuries. In short, everybody knows the repercussions when this body part becomes injured – the consequences can be significant.

However, while we all know that spinal injuries are by no means anything good, few of us understand the exact types that can be sustained. Some are more serious than others and to help you understand them in more detail, we have put together this page to help you along the way.

The key difference: complete and incomplete injuries

Before we get onto the specific types of spinal injuries, let’s take a look at the difference between complete and incomplete ones.

Fortunately, the name is fairly self-explanatory. Incomplete spinal injuries refer to issues where the spinal cord is only partially severed. This is the least severe of the two and in most cases; the person affected will at least have some functionality after the injury.

Complete spinal cord injuries are much more serious on the other hand. This means that function is rarely retained, although through physical therapy from the likes of Michigan pain specialists it can be possible to mount at least some form of recovery.

The most common spinal cord injuries

Now that we have looked at the types of spinal cord injuries, let’s analyse some of the most common that people tend to suffer from.

There’s no doubt that one of the most prominent comes in the form of anterior cord syndrome. This affects the front of the spinal cord and damages the pathways which affect your senses and motor system. There can be cases where people suffering from this can still feel sensations, but it’s very hard to regain any form of movement.

Another type of injury is central cord syndrome. As the name suggests, this affects the middle of the cord and is responsible for damaging nerves. The upshot of this is that the brain is unable to receive signals from the spine, resulting in a whole host of potential issues including paralysis of your arms and even impairment of the legs. There are even cases of some people losing control within their bowel, bladder or sexual functions.

The final injury we will look at is Brown-Sequard syndrome. The name gives little away this time, but the simple description is just one side of the spinal cord succumbing to damage. This means that it can be a complex problem to address; some injuries will only occur on one side of the body, meaning that movement across that side will only be impacted. It also means that there is no consistent form of this injury and the symptoms between patients are going to vary considerably. Nevertheless, even though the symptoms can vary, it can be quite easy to diagnose as it becomes clear to the specialist that just one side of the spine is impaired through a simple X-ray.