What Are the Top 6 Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in the US?

Injuries to the spinal cord often leave a person without the ability to move or feel sensations. Accidents from vehicle and motorcycle crashes, diving and falling make up a large percentage of spinal cord injuries, but there are other reasons that may surprise you. Read on to discover the top six causes of spinal cord injuries in descending order.

Medical Errors

The sixth most common reason for spinal cord injuries is because of mistakes made by medical professionals when they’re treating a patient for an unrelated issue. This may include a neurologist who damages a patient’s spinal cord during surgery. Or an anesthesiologist who injures the spinal cord with a needle while injecting a pain-blocking numbing agent. People who sustain spinal injuries from medical specialists often consult with a law firm, such as 866attylaw.com.

Diving Accidents

Spinal cord damage from diving into shallow water makes the fifth spot on the list. Diving headfirst into a swimming pool or lake can damage one or more of the top seven vertebrae in the neck. This injury causes the most damage to the spinal cord and often results in paralysis of the entire body below the neck. Complete is the name given to injuries of the spinal cord that leave a person with no sensations or movement beneath the injured area. Those who have incomplete injuries will have some motor functions and the ability to feel some sensations.

Motorcycle Accidents

Accidents on motorcycles are the fourth most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Over 80 percent of accidents involving motorcycles result in a fatality, and almost 20 percent of these people sustain lifelong injuries. Over 10 percent of accidents lead to injuries to the spinal cord and usually, this type of crash will damage several vertebrae. These severe and fatal injuries mostly occur during the ejection of riders from their motorcycles during an accident. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include wet pavement, objects in the roadway and inattentiveness while traveling through intersections.

Gunshot Wounds

Spinal injuries because of gunshot wounds make up 10.4 percent, and it’s the third cause on this list. The thoracic region, or upper back, is the area that’s most affected by gunshot wounds. Additional complications that can occur include migrating bullet fragments that can lead to a tingling sensation, weak muscles and pain in the nerves along the spinal cord. Infection may also occur and lead to membrane inflammation and bone infections. Lead intoxication is a possibility when bullet fragments are present in spinal cord joints or discs.

Falling, Slipping and Stumbling

Those who are over the age of 45 are in the majority age group of people who experience spinal cord injuries from falling down. For all age groups, the total percentage of injuries to the spinal cord from falling is a little over 25 percent, which lands this injury in the second spot. Besides falling, those who are 61 years of age and older also injure themselves by slipping and stumbling. Most people 16 to 45 years old sustain spinal cord injuries by falling from ladders, stair steps, and buildings. Many of these falls happen while people are on the job.

Automobile Accidents

The number one cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, which is almost 32 percent, is because of automobile accidents. Besides collisions, spinal cord injuries occur from vehicle rollovers, failure of seat belts, loss of steering caused by vehicle suspension problems, and the detachment of tire treads. The age group that’s most affected by automobile accidents are those who are 45 years of age and younger. Injuries to the spinal cord are almost always serious and they can change your life forever. While many injuries to the spinal cord are beyond your control, don’t take unnecessary chances in situations that could cause spinal cord damage.

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