Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is part of the nervous system and is the largest nerve in the body. Specifically, nerves are cordlike structures which are made up of nerve fibers. These nerve fibers are responsible for the communication systems of the body which include sensory, motor and autonomic functions. The spinal cord is surrounded by protective bone segments called the vertebral column, or the spinal column. It is made up of seven cervical vertebrae, twelve thoracic vertebrae, five lumbar vertebrae and five sacral vertebrae.

The term “spinal cord injury” (SCI) refers to any injury of the nerve elements within the spinal canal. Most spinal cord injuries are the result of trauma to the vertebral column. These injuries can affect the spinal cord’s ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the body systems that control sensory, motor, and autonomic function below the level of injury. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, the body can be affected in a myriad of ways. Typically, the nerves above the injury site continue to function as they always have and the nerves below the site do not. The level of injury is determined by which vertebrae of the spinal cord have been injured. The closer the injury is to the brain, the greater the loss of function and feeling will be. A person is said to have paraplegia when he or she has lost feeling and is not able to move the lower parts of the body. Someone with tetraplegia (formerly called quadriplegia) has lost movement and feeling in both the upper and lower parts of the body.

Sometimes the spinal cord is only bruised or swollen after the initial injury and as the swelling goes down, the nerves may begin to work again. Unfortunately, there are no tests which will determine how many nerves, if any, will work again. However, the longer there is no improvement, the less improvement will occur.

In addition to movement and feeling, a spinal cord injury affects other bodily functions, such as breathing, bowel and bladder control. There may also be changes in sexual function.

Some attorneys or law firms brag about their settlements or verdicts in an attempt to entice clients. Altemus & Wagner does not do so because every case is unique. More importantly, Altemus & Wagner puts the same quality and aggressiveness into every case, not only the big cases.

You will find a great deal of helpful information on this website. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, call us at any time. You will be able to speak directly to an attorney who will answer your questions. There is never a charge to call and talk about a personal injury matter. You may also go to our online personal injury questionnaire and submit your information online. An attorney will contact you right away. If you prefer, we can also visit you in your home, place of business or care facility to discuss your personal injury claim.

Click here to fill out our online case questionnaire.

Since most of the time injured victims will suffer some form of loss (be it income, physical, emotional, or other), our legal system provides for compensation in these instances. However, the law only provides a limited time within which to pursue your claim, so you should contact us right away. If you wait too long, you will be forever barred from pursuing your claim.

If you have been injured in an accident, call Altemus & Wagner so you can avoid mistakes commonly made by injured individuals. Most likely, there will be a source of recovery for you. Don’t forget our online personal injury questionnaire where you can submit your information online.


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