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Top Causes of Spinal Injuries

Posted by copeland on January 31, 2014

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A spinal injury can be among the most devastating types of injuries, affecting your ability to walk or move; feel heat, cold or pressure; control your bladder or bowels or even breathe easily. Such an injury can happen in an instant, but the physical, mental and emotional consequences can be life-long, say spinal injury attorneys in Orlando.

Spinal cord injuries occur when there is damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or spinal column disks, or to the spinal cord itself. Traumatic injuries often involve a blow to the spine that dislocates, fractures, crushes or compresses vertebrae, or the penetration or cutting of the spinal cord. But the initial harm typically is just the beginning. Victims typically suffer additional damage over the days and weeks following the injury as bleeding, swelling and inflammation develop, and fluid accumulates in and around the spinal cord.

The Six most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:

  1. Car accidents: Collisions account for more than 40 percent of spinal cord injuries annually; 
  2. Falls: Overall, falls cause more than a quarter of spinal cord injuries. But the risk and the rate of injury increase sharply after age 65; 
  3. Acts of Violence: Gunshots, knife wounds and even garden variety fist fights are to blame for upwards of 15 percent of spinal cord injuries each year;
  4. Sports and recreational activities: About eight percent of injuries annually are caused by participation in impact sports such as football, hockey, wrestling, skiing, soccer and cheerleading, along with diving into shallow water account;
  5. Alcohol: Use of alcohol is a factor in many types of accidents and injuries, including a quarter of all spinal cord injuries. These can happen via several other common causes including falls, motor vehicle accidents and drunken fights; 
  6. Diseases: Though a less common cause, diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis can weaken and damage the spine.

Young males should be particularly wary. Research shows that upwards of 80 percent of spinal injury victims are male, and those between the ages of 16 and 30 are at highest risk, probably because that's the demo most likely to engage in risky behaviors like playing sports without wearing proper safety gear or getting into fights.

If you or your dependent has suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else's negligence, contact Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates at 407-999-8995 in Orlando or 407-847-7277 in Kissimmee.