Any spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis of some sort. The area below the impacted spot on the spinal column can be affected by a host of symptoms, including weakness, loss of sensation and paralysis. Regardless of the nature of the issue, which can stem from a motor vehicle accident or a severe birth injury, being unable to use the entire body in a normal manner can have considerable impacts on the victim's life.
There are several things that a person who has paralysis should know. Here are a few things to remember:
Every situation is different
Every paralysis case must be viewed from an individualized standpoint. While the cause can determine how the patient needs to be treated for the problem, this isn't the only factor. A person's of symptoms any contributing factors of the condition must also be considered. Together, these can help doctors to come up with a treatment plan that addresses the primary concerns of the patient.
Paralysis is a general term
Paralysis is a very generalized term that simply means the inability to use a body part in the normal manner. There are different types of paralysis that can occur.
- Quadriplegia or tetraplegia: paralysis of all four limbs
- Hemiplegia: paralysis of both limbs on one side of the body
- Paraplegia: paralysis of both legs
- Monoplegia: paralysis of only one limb
- Localized: paralysis of one specific area of the body, such as the face
The form of paralysis also matters. There are two forms: spastic or flaccid. Spastic paralysis involves your muscles tightening, hardening, spasming or twitching uncontrollably.
Flaccid paralysis means that the muscles become weak and shrink. Any remaining muscles will be flabby and unable to control the limb.
The severity of the paralysis impacts the outcome. Some conditions, such as Bell's palsy, are temporary. Others are permanent. Incomplete paralysis means that you might have some movement in the impacted areas, but there isn't any movement with complete paralysis.
Other causes of paralysis
Not all paralysis cases are due to accidents. Some of the other common causes include:
- Birth defects
- Traumatic brain injury
- Post-polio syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Bell's palsy
Patients with paralysis will often need extensive medical care, which can include home care. This can be expensive but some might choose to pursue a lawsuit to help hold the liable party accountable for part or all of the costs.