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Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord plays an important role in the body. This structure, which is made up of nerves, allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. If the spinal cord is injured, the damage could affect this line of communication. All spinal cord injuries are serious for this reason, but some are more devastating than others. Here’s an overview of the different types of spinal cord injuries:

Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

Every spinal cord injury is classified as either an incomplete or complete injury. If the spinal cord is only partially severed, it is an incomplete injury, whereas if it is completely severed,  it is a complete injury. A complete injury can lead to the total loss of movement and sensation below the injury location. However, victims with incomplete injuries typically still retain some level of function and sensation. The severity of an incomplete injury will depend on the location and extent of the damage.

Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries

A cervical spinal cord injury affects the top portion of the spine, which is located in the neck. This is the most severe type of spinal cord injury. Victims who suffer a cervical spinal cord injury lose most or all movement and sensation below their shoulders. Sadly, injuries that occur at the very top of the cervical spinal cord are often fatal.

Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries

The thoracic spinal cord is located below the cervical spinal cord in the upper and middle of the back. Injuries to this portion of the spinal cord typically affect the abdomen and lower body. Many thoracic spinal cord injuries lead to paraplegia, which is the paralysis of the lower body, including the legs.

This injury does not affect the upper body, so victims who develop paraplegia can still move and feel sensation in their arms, chest, and the rest of their upper body.

Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries

The lumbar spinal cord is located below the thoracic spinal cord in the back. This portion of the spinal cord must carry the most weight, so it has larger vertebrae than other portions.

An injury to this portion will not affect your upper body, but it can affect your ability to move or feel sensation in your hips or legs. A lumbar spinal cord injury can also impact your ability to control your bladder or bowels.

Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries

The sacral spinal cord, located right above the tailbone, is the lowest portion of the spinal cord. Most victims who suffer sacral spinal cord injuries are still capable of walking, however, they may need some assistance. An injury that affects this portion of the spine could lead to a partial or complete loss of bladder and bowel control. In addition, victims may lose some movement and sensation in the hips and lower body.

Have you sustained a spinal cord injury? If so, contact experienced attorney Martin Gasparian as soon as possible. Mr. Gasparian will work tirelessly to hold the at-fault party accountable and secure the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation regarding your case by calling 559-203-3333 or submitting your information at


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