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What are the different types of spinal cord injuries?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2021 | Personal Injury

The spine is a complex bodily feature composed of bones, nerves, and many other tissues. Damage to this area of the body can have many effects since the spine is integral to the function and feeling of multiple other areas.

As a result, it is crucial for spine injury victims to understand the diagnoses they receive after an accident has occurred. Shepherd Center offers the following insight on the types of spinal injuries.


A complete injury means that damage to a particular area of the spine is permanent. This can result in loss of feeling and movement in all four limbs, or it may only affect the upper or lower limbs alone.


Unlike complete, incomplete damage describes only partial damage to an area of the spine. The bodily sensation varies greatly based on the location of the injury and the severity of the damage. The patient’s previous medical history can also play a role.


The area of the spine above the shoulders, such as the head and neck, is the cervical spine. Damage to this area is often considered quite serious and can have the most damaging effects on movement and sensation.


The thoracic spine runs through the abdomen, the middle of the back, and the top part of the chest. Most people retain the function of their upper limbs with thoracic injuries.


When the lumbar spine receives damage, the function of the hips and legs can decrease. Many patients require assistance with walking afterward, such as the use of a wheelchair or leg braces.


Damage to the sacral spine usually impacts the buttocks, hips, and thighs, as well as organs within the pelvis. Sacral injuries usually do not affect the person’s ability to walk.

The more you understand spinal cord injuries, the better you can advocate for yourself or a loved one. This is crucial to getting the treatment necessary to make a full or partial recovery.