Serious car accidents, perhaps especially ones in which an 18-wheeler is involved, tend to cause more catastrophic injuries. Sadly, there is no way to accurately predict what types of injuries each occupant of the vehicle will suffer.
Some people will walk away, some will lose their lives, and others will suffer a wide array of injuries. On the more serious end of the spectrum are spinal cord injuries, which can include quadriplegia.
“Spinal shock” may delay a diagnosis
Any type of spinal injury can lead to a sudden loss of reflexes and motor control. This may just be spinal shock, a temporary condition. It could take anywhere from a couple of days to a few months for spinal shock to subside. For this reason, your doctors may have difficulty accurately diagnosing how severe a spinal cord injury really is.
What does “incomplete quadriplegia” mean?
Doctors call it quadriplegia when someone does not currently have use of all four of their limbs. An accident that causes an injury to your cervical spine or neck can lead to quadriplegia. This mean you have little to no sensation or movement in your body below the point of your injury because the signals from your brain aren’t able to reach the rest of your body and vice versa.
If the spinal cord is not severed, doctors may refer to this as “incomplete quadriplegia.” This means you still have connections between your brain and your body.
Research provides hope with various treatment options
With an incomplete spinal cord injury, exercise is a primary focus since the repetition of it may help encourage new connections to sprout from the connections that remain. In addition to that, you may also benefit from electrical stimulation, which sends an electrical current through your body to excite the neurons in your spine to help you move.
Stem cell therapy is still in its infancy but may show promise. One reason for this is because stem cells can become any type of cell in the body and can renew themselves for an extended amount of time. One issue with this therapy is that spinal cord neurons are more complex than other cells, so it could take some time for it to work.
You may have legal options
Recovery will take a long time no matter your circumstances. Medical appointments, an inability to work and pain and suffering may all be compensable if someone else was at fault for your injuries. Learn about your legal options.