The Different Types of Paralysis to Know About

Man in wheelchair

According to The National Spinal Cord Injury Database, given the current U.S. population size of 329 million people, a recent estimate showed that the annual incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI) is approximately 54 cases per one million people in the United States, or about 17,810 new SCI cases each year. A person can sustain different types of paralysis after an accident. The most common type is quadriplegia, which results in the loss of function in all four limbs. However, other types of paralysis are less common but no less severe. Our catastrophic injuries attorneys discuss the different kinds of paralysis and what you need to know about them.

What Are the Symptoms of Paralysis?

Individuals experience varying degrees of severity and symptoms depending on their injuries and type of paralysis. In these circumstances, the following symptoms may develop gradually, start and stop, or occur suddenly:

  • Muscular atrophy
  • Loss of muscle function
  • Numbness and pain
  • Stiffness, spasms, or twitching

In addition to paralysis, individuals may experience other physical impairments based on the area affected. The symptoms may include difficulty breathing, loss of trunk mobility, chest pain, and bladder/bowel incontinence.

How Many Different Types of Paralysis Are There?

In paralysis, the nervous system in the spinal cord or brain is damaged (the latter often as a result of a traumatic brain injury). Paralysis can be classified in a number of ways, depending on which limbs are affected, what region of the spinal cord was damaged, or what the nature of the paralysis is.

Types of paralysis as defined by limbs affected:

General forms of paralysis include the following. Damage to the spinal cord or brain is often directly correlated with these symptoms.

  • Monoplegia: Affects one limb, such as an arm or a leg.
  • Hemiplegia: Affects one side of the body.
  • Diplegia: Affects the same limb or area on both sides of the body.
  • Paraplegia: Affects both legs and is often referred to as "paralysis from the waist down."
  • Quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia): Affects both arms, both legs, and in some cases, everything from the neck down.
  • Locked-in-Syndrome: Affects all motor systems, excluding the eyes. Locked-in-syndrome is a rare neurological disorder.

Paralysis and Your Personal Injury Claim

If you or someone you know has suffered from paralysis due to an accident, you may be wondering what your next steps are. The first step is to seek medical attention and treatment for your injuries. The second step is to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you are compensated for your injuries. If you have any questions or want to discuss your case with one of our lawyers, please contact us today.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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