Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

Symptoms and Diagnosis of SCI via MRI 5 Critical Questions Answered

Learning emergency signs and spinal cord injury symptoms after you or a family member is involved in an accident are extremely valuable. This type of injury can have very serious repercussions and hence, it is very important that you are aware of a few basic yet critical factors about spinal cord injury (SCI).


  1. How Do You Recognize The Severity Of The Injury Or The “Completeness”?

    SCI is classified based upon how badly the spinal cord has been affected by the accident. This is termed as the ‘completeness’ and it is divided into two main categories:

    • Complete – in this case the SCI would have resulted in total sensory (feeling) and motor function (ability to move) below the place where the injury occurred.
    • Incomplete – in this case there is partial sensory and motor function below the injured area.


    Paralysis is a common development following a spinal cord injury. Depending upon the location of the injury on the spinal cord, the paralysis may be total – medically known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia – meaning that you would not be able to feel or move your body neck downwards; or it could be partial – medically known as paraplegia – where the paralysis affects only part of the body.

  2. What Are The Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms You Should Watch Out For Following a SCI?

    There are well-known symptoms of SCI may result in serious complications. Recognizing the symptoms early can literally save your life. If you experience any one or more of these signs, consult your doctor immediately.

    • sudden loss of sensation in any part of your body; inability to feel anything – hot/ cold/ touch
    • inability to move
    • loss of bladder and/ or bowel control
    • thrashing around/ experiencing uncontrollable spasms or reflex actions
    • extreme pain and/ or experiencing stinging sensations at the spot where the injury took place
    • inability to breathe, cough; choking feeling
  3. What Are The Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms That Require Urgent Emergency Medical Attention?

    Very often people who have suffered from SCI need immediate and intense medical attention. If you observe any of the following symptoms, call 911 and ask for urgent help:

    • paralysis of any part of the body
    • inability to coordinate movement in spite of trying very hard
    • a feeling of numbness or tingling sensation spreading in any part of the body, especially toes and fingers
    • excruciating back pain or a heavy feeling on your back or neck
    • finding it difficult to balance while walking
    • a terrible feeling that you are suffocating
    • body is twisted in an odd manner at the neck or back levels
  4. When Is The Best Time To Consult A Doctor Following An Accident That Might Have Caused Spinal Injury?

    Consult with a doctor immediately; very often a SCI is not obvious instantly.  Do not wait for the symptoms to develop as by that time many complications would have set in. In most cases internal bleeding, splintering of bone, rupture of nerves, and other similar trauma may take time to show external signs. Early medical attention is vital for early recovery and prevention of critical complications.

  5. What Should You Do If You Suspect a SCI But Not See Any Of The Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms?

    • call 911 or a doctor if he can come urgently and provide medical assistance
    • do not move or attempt to move the person
    • reassure the person by speaking in a calm and self-assure voice
    • stop external bleeding, if any without moving the person

Choose an Experience Law Firm to Handle Your SCI Case

Avery Law Firm has handled personal injury and wrongful death cases for over 30 years. When dealing with spinal cord injuries and insurance companies, we are adept in spine injury law – tough, aggressive advocates – who fight hard to achieve result for our clients who suffer from a back injury, head injury or brain injury.

Choose a spinal cord injury lawyer experienced in SCI law that can get the settlement or legal relief you need and deserve when you have been injured. Call us at (303) 840-2222 or fill out the contact form on the right to schedule your free consultation.

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