An incomplete spinal injury is one that does not completely sever the spinal cord. This kind of injury allows for some sensation and movement below the point of injury, but it may cause serious dysfunction as well.
Depending on where the injury is, there is a potential for organ dysfunction, trouble with sensation, difficulty moving around independently and potentially issues with self-care.
What kinds of incomplete spinal cord injuries are there?
There are four main kinds of spinal injuries that affect the spinal cord. These are:
- Anterior cord syndrome
- Posterior cord syndrome
- Central cord syndrome
- Brown-Séquard Syndrome
Each of these affects the body in different ways. For example, with an anterior cord syndrome, there is a higher risk of the loss of motor function below the point of injury. Usually, this kind of injury impacts a person’s ability to feel pain or regulate their body temperature normally.
Posterior cord syndrome is different because it is caused by damage to the back of the spinal cord. It may impact a person’s sense of vibration, sense of where the body is or how it’s moving or the ability to feel deeper touch sensations.
Central cord syndrome affects the middle of the spinal cord, which is usually caused by hyperextension of the neck. With this syndrome, a person may have weakness in the arms, as an example. This is one injury that could be caused by acute whiplash.
Finally, there is Brown-Séquard Syndrome, which is when one side of the spinal cord is damaged. The person will see the impact of the injury on only the side of the body that is affected.
The good news about incomplete spinal cord injuries is that there is a chance of recovery. Since the brain can send signals, and other areas of the body can receive them, there is a better opportunity for rehabilitation and certain medical treatments to reduce the severity of the injury.
If you’re injured in a crash, these are possible injuries you could face. If that happens, the driver who is responsible for the crash should be held liable, so you can get the right care to work toward recovery.