Some Of The Physical Consequences Of Spinal Cord Injuries.

Often after a spinal cord injury, your body no longer has control over things like moderating temperature, and in many cases you no longer sweat, so that your body just heats up.

You lose the superficial sensory control of pain so that you no longer have any sensation that your foot, for example, is cut or bruised. One of the major problems with people who suffer these types of injury is that they are seated in one position for extended periods of time and they develop severe bedsores especially at the base of the spine. These sores become extremely difficult to treat and extremely difficult to heal over, so you get open sores which are a source of infections resulting in ongoing serious problems.

Also, people who sustain spinal cord injuries have ongoing problems with the nerve structures in the paralyzed limb. Now that the limbs don’t function normally anymore, you have no voluntary control, but many of the nerves continue to fire resulting in severe spasming of the musculature which can be very disabling. As a consequence, you may have to take copious amounts of medication, as many as 50 to 100 pills or capsules every day for the rest of your life.

In many cases, people with both paraplegia and quadriplegia lose bowel control. Medication is needed to keep the bowels functioning to some degree. Most people are fitted with colostomy bags, but that is something else that has to be manually taken care of in order to survive. Your digestive system no longer works appropriately because you are either lying down or sitting down for the rest of your life and so your intestinal system, which itself may well be the subject of some nerve damage and doesn’t function as optimally, no longer functions well and you have significant digestive problems.

The psychological impact of such a serious injury is another issue that medical staff and we, as lawyers, try to help the injured person deal with as well. It is an absolutely devastating injury. By and large these injuries happen to young men between the ages of 18 and 30. Usually these are high-end athletes who are risk takers in many respects, able to do things a lot of people can’t do because of their athletic powers and skill. To be faced with this sort of injury can be life-threatening from a psychological point of view.

We try to deal with these consequences by seeking the best coverage we can achieve for the injured person from insurance companies, and also to pursue damages in the case where the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with Personal injury law issues in the Toronto, Ontario Region, contact Strype Barristers LLP.

This article is taken from a March 17, 2008 interview with Jeff Strype LL.B., Personal Injury Lawyer with Strype Barristers LLP in Toronto , a Personal Injury Law Firm.

Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.