Spinal cord injuries often come with lifelong consequences. The body below the location of the injury may suffer from reduced sensation or motor control. In some cases, there will be a total loss of motor function and physical sensation.
Some people may recover some function with medical intervention, while others may simply need to adjust to life with their new injury. Treatment and physical therapy are often necessary with a spinal cord injury regardless of its severity.
Understanding the grading system used for spinal cord injuries can help you make sense of your diagnosis and your prognosis. That knowledge will empower you when dealing with insurance or a personal injury claim.
There are five different degrees of severity for spinal cord injuries
Some people simply refer to spinal cord injuries as complete, having severed the spinal cord, or incomplete. The American Spinal Injury Association created a more comprehensive grading scale that gives doctors a more thorough insight into the condition of a patient:
- An A means the injury is complete and has resulted in a total cessation of motor function and sensation.
- A B indicates the complete loss of motor function but some sensory function.
- A C means an incomplete motor injury where fewer than half of the muscle groups function properly.
- A D involves an incomplete injury where more than half of the motor groups of the affected body parts do function properly.
- An E, the lowest grade, indicates that there are no major medical consequences or that someone has normal function and sensation.
The more you understand about a spinal cord injury, the easier it will be for you to get the care and compensation you deserve for your future needs