A spinal cord injury affects nearly every part of your body

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

The most obvious part of a spinal cord injury is the restriction of or nonexistent movement of your legs and/or arms, depending on the location and severity of your injury. Even if your inability to move is temporary, other parts of your body could suffer the effects.

What many people don’t realize about a spinal cord injury is that it affects much more than just the limbs. Other bodily systems experience the affects as well. Below are some of the complications that often arise for victims of this particular injury.

What could happen to your body?

The concern with a spinal cord injury is that the messages from the brain do not get to the rest of the body. This doesn’t only include the use of limbs. Some messages may not get through to other systems as well. As a result, you could end up with one or more of the following conditions:

  • If your injury occurred in T6 or above, your blood pressure could rise dangerously high, leading to a medical emergency. Your heart rate slows, your skin flushes and has goose bumps, your vision could blur, and you could experience a terrible headache.
  • Your bones could deteriorate and lose mass, which makes you more susceptible to bone fractures. Even with a low activity level, you could break or fracture a bone.
  • You could develop a blood clot deep in a vein of your leg that causes swelling, redness and pain. If the clot dislodges and moves into your lungs, it could kill you, so see a doctor immediately.
  • An infection could enter your bloodstream, so if you begin vomiting, have a fever, confusion or chills, along with low blood pressure and an elevated heart rate, you need medical attention as quickly as possible.
  • Many with spinal cord injuries become more susceptible to pneumonia.
  • You could experience kidney or bladder stones, which can cause an infection, pain and problems urinating.
  • If you sweat profusely, feel faint or experience a rapid heart rate when you change positions, it could be due to a sudden and extreme drop in your blood pressure.

As you can see, these complications of a spinal cord injury often don’t involve any movement but can easily threaten your life. In any case, you will more than likely need additional medical care.

Paying your bills

It’s not hard to imagine that your medical treatment now and in the future will be expensive. If your injury resulted from the negligence or recklessness of someone else, you may exercise your right to file a personal injury claim in the pursuit of the compensation you deserve.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


(415) 421-7995