One of the most catastrophic consequences a North Carolina car accident can entail is that of your receiving a spinal cord injury that could paralyze you, confining you to a wheelchair for the remainder of your life. Depending on the location and severity of your injury, you could have to rely on others to provide you with daily care.

The Mayfield Clinic stresses that in order to understand the various types of paralysis, you must first understand that your spinal cord represents the way in which your brain sends messages to the rest of your body and receives messages back from it. If this message relaying ability becomes lost due to a spinal cord injury, you will no longer have much, if any, control over the parts of your body below your injury point.

Your back’s vertebral regions

For medical purposes, doctors and researchers divide your back and its vertebrae into the following five regions:

  1. Your neck a/k/a cervical region that contains seven vertebrae
  2. Your upper torso from your neck to your waist a/k/a thoracic region that contains 12 vertebrae
  3. Your lower torso from your waist to your lower back a/k/a lumbar region that contains five vertebrae
  4. Your lowest torso from your lower back to your tailbone a/k/a sacral region that contains five fused vertebrae
  5. Your tailbone itself a/k/a coccyx region that contains four fused vertebrae

Paraplegia

Should your SCI occur in your lower thoracic or lumbar region, the result likely will be partial or total paralysis of your legs and feet. Not only will you likely be unable to move or feel them, you also likely will lose control of your bladder and bowel functions.

Quadriplegia

Should your SCI occur in your cervical or upper thoracic region, the result likely will be partial or total paralysis of your arms and hand as well as your legs and feet, plus most of your torso. Needless to say, quadriplegia represents a catastrophic life-changing injury. You likely will not be able to move much at all, and therefore will be dependent on 24/7 caregivers for even your most basic needs including eating, bathing, dressing, waste elimination, etc.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.