What Is an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury?

While your brain is the body’s control center, it must still use your spine to relay its signals to the rest of you. Because of this, any damage to the spine has a chance of causing severe trouble. Spinal cord injuries are serious business, even if they are incomplete.


An incomplete spinal cord injury does not completely sever the connection to the brain. While a complete injury can leave you unable to move your legs, an incomplete one may make it more difficult. While this is preferable, that does not make it any less worrying.

Frequent Causes of Spinal Cord Injury 

According to the Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries are caused by damage to the nerves or vertebrae that make up the spine. If these are damaged, it is much more difficult for the brain to send signals along the nerves to your body. The most common cause is a sudden blow to the back.


Car accidents frequently cause spinal cord injuries, both complete and incomplete. Other common causes include the following: 



Victims of incomplete spinal cord injury, no matter what the cause, are subject to limited mobility and chronic pain. The severity is determined by what occurred and where the injury was sustained. These occurrences are often sudden and unpredictable, making spinal cord injury a serious concern.

Types of Spinal Cord Injury

While the sources and results are often similar, there are multiple types of incomplete spinal cord injury. In addition to the symptoms listed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, you may face specific difficulties and complications depending on your injury type. These include:


  • Cauda equina syndrome
  • Conus medullaris syndrome
  • Anterior cord syndrome
  • Posterior cord syndrome


These all affect different parts of the spine in different ways and from different sources. While there are usually ways to manage the pain and even retain mobility, they still usually cause lifelong problems. Dealing with these problems, unfortunately, tends to be expensive, especially over time. 

Common Expenses and Other Damages

One of the biggest expenses associated with these injuries is medical bills. Surgery and medication are not cheap, but they may be necessary to prevent further damage. There are a number of treatments for incomplete spinal cord injury you may consider, as described by the National Library of Medicine, though they may be costly. 


You may also lose your ability to work as you once did, at least for now. This results in lost wages and a limited capacity to earn more. You may also have to replace your vehicle or other damaged property in a car accident.


Beyond the monetary damages, your injury may also affect your ability to enjoy life as you once did. Pain and limited mobility are common symptoms, severely impacting your way of life. Those who are active for a living, like athletes, may be unable to perform their profession for the rest of their lives.

What Can I Do if I Think I Have Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury?

If you have experienced a back injury recently and are suffering limited control over your lower body, you may have an incomplete spinal cord injury. The signs may be as severe as total loss of movement or as subtle as poor bladder control. No matter what you are feeling, you should get medical attention immediately.


There is hope for your recovery from an incomplete injury. Rehabilitation services and other such treatments are available if you choose. The most important thing is to go to a doctor as soon as possible and discuss your options. 

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