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The Anatomy of the Spinal Cord

The Anatomy of the Spinal Cord

Let’s look at the anatomy of the spinal cord. 

Demystifying the Spine: A Closer Look at the Spinal Cord and Its Vulnerable Nerves

This is what a typical vertebra of the spine looks like; you can see the spinal cord and its nerves go through openings between them. The spinal cord is a very delicate structure, and injury most commonly occurs because of some sort of damage to the spaces where the cord or nerves are.  

Understanding Injury Levels and Completeness: Navigating the Impact of Spinal Cord Damage

The lowest part of the spinal cord that was not damaged after an injury is known as the neurological level of the injury. “The completeness” of the injury refers to how much feeling, known as sensation, is lost.

If all feeling and ability to control movement are lost below where the spinal cord is injured, it is known as a complete injury. If some feeling and control of movement remain below the affected area, the injury is called an incomplete injury.

Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, involves the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. Paraplegia involves paralysis of all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs but not the arms.

The diagram to the left shows the types of vertebrae and their locations or levels. Each of them is color-coded to show the parts of the body that are controlled by the spinal cord in those vertebrae.

Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating injuries someone can experience, and it is important the full breadth of the injury is understood by your legal team. If you have a client with a spinal cord injury, our experienced personal injury lawyers can co-counsel on these complicated cases; call us.

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