Know Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries with Dr. Stephen P. Courtney

Know Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries with Dr. Stephen P. Courtney

The spinal cord is one of the most important organs of the human body. As you might have figured out from the title, in this blog we are going to discuss the different types and levels of the spinal cord. Dr. Stephen P. Courtney believes in making people aware of every piece of information related to spinal cords. Lack of information is often considered to be one of the most prominent reasons behind confusion which ultimately leads to hesitation. Keeping this in mind, we decided to post a blog that will talk about the different types of spinal cord injuries. It is to be noted that most of these injuries can be treated if one chooses to get in touch with a medical professional on time. Go through the sections below to draw an end to all confusions related to this topic.

Spinal Cord Injury Types

Spinal cord injuries can be categorized under two broad headings – incomplete spinal cord injury and complete spinal cord injury. You might be thinking about what these injuries are. Well, we have described the two different types of injuries in the pointer below.

  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury – This type of injury can be defined as a situation where partial damage is caused to the spinal cord. You should know that the pain or the ability to move directly depends on the severity and the area of the injury. But, these injuries can be treated with ease if you consult a doctor with proper expertise and qualifications to treat spinal cord issues.
  • Complete Spinal Cord Injury – This type of injury refers to a condition where complete damage has been caused to the spinal cord. Tetraplegia and Paraplegia are some of the results of complete spinal cord injuries.

Different Levels of Spinal Cord Injury

Now that you have gathered information about the different types of spinal cord injuries, let us talk about the levels of spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord has four different types of sections – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. It is to be noted that each section of the spinal cord is there to protect different groups of nerves that ultimately controls the human body. The severity of the spinal cord injury is mainly dependent on the section of the spine that is injured. 

  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries – The cervical portion is the top part of the spinal cord. To be very specific, the cervical portion ranges from C-1 to C-17. As the cervical portion is located closer to the brain, these types of injuries are considered to be the most critical ones. You should know that cervical spinal cord injuries can result in partial or permanent loss of sensory function of your spine.
  • Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries – The middle part of the spinal cord is known as the thoracic section. It is numbered from T-1 to T-12 and protects the nerves that control the muscles in the upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal portion. Some of the symptoms in thoracic spinal cord injuries are – weakness in the leg, loss of sensation, loss of sensation or control in the rectal region, pain in the lower back, fever, etc. 
  • Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries – The lowest major portion of the spinal cord is known as the lumbar section. In other words, it consists of the five vertebrae just below the thoracic section. You should know that the lumbar section carries the most weight if compared with the other portions of the spinal cord. Injuries in this region lead to loss of function in the legs and hips, little or no control over bowel movement, etc.
  • Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries – The portion below the lumbar part is known as the sacral section of the spinal cord. Five of the bones are fused to make a triangle-shaped sacrum. These bones are numbered from S-1 to S-5 and protect nerves that control the hips, groin area, back of the thighs, medial buttock area, and perennial area. Injuries in the sacral spinal cord can be the reason for the loss of function in the legs and hips, bowel or bladder organs, etc. 

We hope that you have now gained an understanding of spinal cord injuries. In case of any spinal cord problems, do not hesitate to consult Dr. Stephen P. Courtney, MD. He is the best spine surgeon in Plano, TX, and provides his patients with the best treatment at an affordable price range. Call us for more updates. Thank you.