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Understanding an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

spinal cord injury

If you've been injured in an automobile or motorcycle accident, you may be diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord injury. This type of injury is very different from a complete spinal cord injury where your spinal cord is severed or crushed.


But exactly what does an incomplete spinal cord injury mean? Does it mean that you will eventually be paralyzed, or will you regain some of the sensations or movement that you may currently be missing? Here is some additional information to help you better understand your condition.


What Is an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury?

An incomplete spinal cord injury is the most common form of spinal cord injury that takes place. According to estimates, more than 40% of people who sustain injury to their spinal cords have this type of injury. It is an injury in which the spinal cord is not severed or compromised severely enough to eliminate all functions below the site of the injury. In other words, the spinal cord may only be bruised or torn.


An incomplete spinal cord injury can result from a fall, motor vehicle collision, sports injury, or another type of accident. It can also occur anytime you receive a significant blow to the back of your head or back or suffer from a disease that results in damage or incomplete development of your brain or spine.


What Differentiates One Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury From Another?

Incomplete spinal cord injuries can manifest with a wide range of symptoms, and recovery is often dependent on where the injury takes place, as well as the severity of the injury. These types of injuries are often classified as types or have specific names based on exactly where the injury to the spinal cord takes place. Here are a few examples:

  • Anterior Cord Syndrome: Is damage to the front of your spinal cord. In this area, you will find the nerves that affect your sense of touch, as well as your awareness of pain and temperature. 

  • Posterior Cord Syndrome: Is damage that occurs to the back of your spinal cord. When this area is affected, you may struggle with your coordination.

  • Brown-Séquard Syndrome: Is damage that takes place to one side of your spinal cord but not the other. This could mean that your movement and sensations are affected on one side of your body but not the other. 

  • Cauda Equina Lesion: Means that you have experienced damage or compression to the nerves that are located between your lower lumbar regions of your back. If not treated, it could result in incontinence and loss of sensation in your legs. 


Spinal cord injuries come with a variety of symptoms. Some common symptoms you may experience include:

  • Loss of or altered sensations, especially in your hands and feet

  • Unexplained nerve pain in various areas of your body.

  • Changes in your sexual function

  • Incontinence or changes in your bladder or bowel habits

  • Exaggerated reflexes


Your exact injury, its location, as well as its severity will often determine your symptoms, as well as whether or not you are able to regain movement or sensations you may have lost as a result of the injury. 

Unfortunately, an incomplete spinal cord injury can be a lifelong injury with mounting medical bills for treatment and rehabilitation. Any compensation you are entitled to as a result of your accident should take this into consideration and include your future medical expenses.

The law offices of Frederic M. Rosen, PC have years of experience in ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today so that we can help you be on your road to recovery.