Colorado residents who have sustained spinal cord injuries should be aware of the levels of injury that can occur. The high-cervical nerves result in the most severe spinal cord injuries. These injuries often result in paralysis of the limbs, trunk or hands as well as an inability to breathe and control bodily functions in an independent manner. This level also results in quadriplegia and victims require significant assistance with daily living activities, such as eating, bathing and getting dressed.
Low-cervical nerve injuries correspond to the nerves that control the hands and the arms. People with C5 low-cervical nerve injuries may still be able to breathe normally on their own and raise their arms and elbows. Those with an injured C5 nerve are also able to speak, but they do face a weakened respiratory system and require assistance. C6 injuries affect wrist extension and may result in hand, trunk and leg paralysis as well as poor control over bodily functions.
C7 injuries control elbow and some finger extension, and injured patients may still be able to drive. C8 injuries result in affected hand movements and poor bodily function control. Damage to the T1 through T5 thoracic nerves affect muscles in the upper chest, abdomen and mid-back and cause difficulty when walking or standing. T6 to T12 injuries affect the nerves in the trunk and may result in paraplegia.
Victims of spinal cord injuries will often require considerable and expensive medical assistance for the rest of their lives. If the injury was incurred in an accident that was caused by the negligence of another party, an attorney can often be of assistance in seeking damages for the losses that have been sustained and that are projected to be sustained in the future.