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Does paralysis only affect your legs?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

One of the many medical conditions that riddle American lives is paralysis. Paralysis is a disability that can cause neurological damage. As such, someone suffering from paralysis may lose their ability to feel or move their limbs.

In movies and TV shows, many characters suffer from debilitating injuries that result in them being paralyzed from the waist down. This typically results in the character coming onscreen in a wheelchair. While this form of paralysis isn’t far from reality, paralysis of the legs isn’t the only form of this disability.

Before you learn what other forms of paralysis exist, you should have a better understanding of what causes paralysis. Here’s what you should know:

Catastrophic spinal damage

The spine works much like an antenna for the brain. All the brain’s signals to control the limbs go through the spine. So, if the spine is damaged, these signals may weaken or be cut off completely; this is the largest cause of paralysis.

The following are three common causes of paralysis

  • ● Car accidents: Many car accidents are minor, leaving victims with cuts and bruises. However, there are many nearly fatal car accidents that cause severe injuries to victims. As such, one of the many ways someone could suffer from paralysis is in a catastrophic car accident. This may happen if a car accident pinched nerves, damaged the spine or dislocated joints.
  • ● Slip-and-fall accidents: The spine is a delicate part of the body, which isn’t all that well protected. After slipping and falling, a person may suffer a spinal injury. The spine may be severely damaged if it fell onto the corner of a table or step.
  • ● Surgical error: Whether someone needs surgery on their spine or not, during a procedure, doctors have to take extreme caution to not damage the spine or other nerves. Even if the spine itself isn’t damaged, there may be severed or damaged nerves that result in paralysis.

Kinds of paralysis

Now that you understand how someone could suffer from paralysis, you should understand that paralysis can affect more than just the lower torso. Any part of the body is susceptible to paralysis. Some people only suffer from minor foot paralysis, while others may lose the function over their entire body. Oftentimes, people suffering from paralysis after a catastrophic injury need to seek legal help to ensure they recover or have proper medical support.