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Spinal cord injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents

The National Spinal Cord Injury Association shows that as many as 450,000 people living in the United States today are afflicted by a spinal cord injury (SCI). Some 11,000 new diagnoses of SCIs occur each year.

Spinal cord injuries result from trauma to the vertebral column. This, in turn, affects the brain's ability ability to send or receive messages to other parts of the body.

Spinal cord injuries are most prevalent among individuals between the ages of 16 and 30. In fact, 53.1 percent of all SCIs happen among individuals of this age bracket. More than 81.2 percent of SCIs occur among men. Automobile or motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of SCIs among those ages 65 and younger.

When someone suffers an SCI, it can result in different levels of impairment depending on the portion of the spinal cord that was most affected. The closer the injury is to the brain, the more potential an injury has to impair not only the body's movement, but what the victim can feel as well. The lower down the injury falls, the higher chance the individual has for still experiencing some voluntary movement and feeling.

Spinal cord injury related to auto or motorbike accidents fall into two categories, complete and incomplete.

A complete injury results in complete loss of both sensory and motor functions at and below the area that was injured. Some 50 percent of reported SCIs are considered complete ones.

An incomplete SCI, in contrast, is one that leaves its victim with some degree of functionality below the injury area. It generally does not have a bilateral impact, meaning that one leg or arm may function relatively normally when another does not.

In order to reduce your chance of suffering an SCI as a motorcyclist, you should not only exercise defensive driving skills, but abide by the posted speed limit as well. You also should beware of any impaired drivers and ensure that you do not operate under the influence of alcohol or drugs yourself.

Spinal cord injuries can be costly to treat. A San Bernardino motorcycle accident attorney can provide advice as to how you might be able to recover some of your past and future medical expenses you are sure to amass as a result of your injury.

Source: aans.org, "Spinal cord injury," accessed May 10, 2017

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