Causes Of Spinal Cord Injuries

The most common cause of spinal cord injury in the United States is trauma. In fact, nearly half of all spinal cord injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents such as car, truck or motorcycle accidents. Approximately 24 percent of spinal cord injuries are the result of a long fall, such as falling from a tall ladder in a construction accident. Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include medical negligence, sports and recreation accidents, violence, loss of normal blood supply, and compression of the spinal cord by a tumor, infection or inflammation.

The statistics show that more than half of the people who suffer from a spinal cord injury are between 15 and 29 years old. Motor vehicle accidents are the main cause of spinal cord injury for people under the age of 65. For people over 65, falls cause most spinal cord injuries. Additionally, males are significantly more likely than females to suffer spinal cord injuries.

It is critical that a spinal cord injury is properly diagnosed immediately after it occurs. The extent of a spinal cord injury is not always apparent at the time of the accident. Numbness and paralysis can sometimes be immediate, but they can also progress gradually as a result of continued bleeding or swelling. Any delay in properly diagnosing and treating a serious spinal cord injury can lead to dire consequences for the victim. The time between an injury and treatment is, therefore, critical and can significantly impact the extent of the injury and level of recovery possible.