Most Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Jan 6, 2017 by

The spinal cord is one of the most essential parts of the body, so damaging any part of it can have devastating effects like disability. Spinal cord injuries can be sustained from a variety of incidents, like car accidents, illnesses, and sports injuries.

The worst incidents are those that happen because of someone else. Because of the recklessness and negligence of another party, the victim is the one who has to suffer. According to the spinal cord injury lawyers of Mazin & Associates, PC, such incidents may be subject to legal action.

But what are the most common types of spinal cord injuries? There are many types, but all of them result into some kind of impairment.


Tetraplegia is the partial or total loss of functionality in all limbs, meaning the arms and legs. Tetraplegia is often associated with brain damage and spinal cord damage, particularly in the C1 to C7 level, or the upper part of the spinal cord.

The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the more severe the consequences. Since tetraplegia happens because of upper spinal cord issues, it is the most serious kind of spinal cord injuries.

Tetraplegia also affects the torso, and that can cause additional problems such as bladder and bowel issues, digestion issues, and respiratory problems.


Paraplegia refers to the impairment of the lower extremities, particularly in motor and sensory functions. This occurs because of spinal cord damage in the T1 level and below, or the middle part of the spinal cord.

The severity of paraplegia also depends on what part of the middle spinal cord is damaged. As mentioned earlier, the higher the injury in the spinal cord, the more serious it is. If the T1 to T8 parts are affected, the trunk may also have complications because of the lack of abdominal muscle control. But in the T9 and below parts, abdominal muscle control is still good.


Triplegia is the paralysis of three limbs. Often, it is the paralysis of one arm and both legs, but paralysis on one leg and both arms is also possible. This often occurs because of an incomplete spinal cord injury.

Incomplete spinal cord injury refers to the partially compromised functions of the spinal cord. Depending on the damage, the victim may experience different syndromes such as anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard syndrome. All of which may preserve movement and sensation.

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