The different types of paralysis are quadriplegia, paraplegia, monoplegia, diplegia, and hemiplegia.
Overview of Paralysis
Usually, paralysis is caused by spinal trauma or stroke. Either the peripheral or central nervous system can be damaged by either of these conditions. This damage disables the relay of information back and forth between the brain and muscles in your body. In other words, your body (limbs, for example) cannot send sensory information to your brain, and your brain cannot send motor signals to your limbs to make them move.
You do not necessarily need to lose the total ability to move for a physician to diagnose you with paralysis, but typically, your muscle tone will be altered. A loss of sensation in the affected area generally accompanies this diagnosis.
Less Common Causes of Paralysis
Although stroke, neck injuries, and spinal cord injuries are the most common causes of paralysis, the condition may also be caused by:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other nerve diseases
- Guillain-Barre syndrome and other autoimmune diseases
- Bell’s palsy, a disease that impacts facial muscles
Causes of Paralysis from Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can consist of damage to:
- Your spinal cord
- Disks or ligaments of your spinal column
- Your vertebrae
Although diseases (such as osteoporosis, arthritis, or cancer) and infections can lead to nontraumatic spinal cord injuries, a traumatic spinal cord injury is caused by a sudden blow to your spine or an injury that literally cuts your spinal cord.
Common Causes of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Knife wounds
- Gunshot wounds
- Impact sports
- Diving (in shallow water)
Different Types of Paralysis from Spinal Cord Injury
Paralysis from a spinal cord injury can take many forms, depending upon where along the spine your injury occurred, as well as the severity of your injury.
Levels of Paralysis
The neurological level of your injury is determined by the position of the lowest “normal” part of your spinal cord. In the case of “generalized paralysis,” a large area of your body is affected, whereas “localized paralysis” affects one specific part, like your feet or face.
Different types of generalized paralysis include:
● Quadriplegia (or “Tetraplegia”) – A spinal cord injury that means you suffer paralysis everywhere below your neck (hands, arms, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs).
- Paraplegia – A spinal cord injury that results in the entire lower half of your body (trunk, legs, and pelvic organs) being paralyzed.
- Diplegia – The same area of your body is affected on both sides (both legs, both sides of the face, both arms, etc.).
- Hemiplegia – One side of your body is affected (arm and leg on your left side, for example).
- Monoplegia – Only one limb is affected (your left leg, your right arm, etc.).
Degrees of Paralysis
The “completeness” of your spinal cord injury is determined by the extent to which you have lost the ability to control movement and/or feel in the affected area. “Complete” paralysis means you have lost all sensory and motor function below your spinal cord injury.
“Incomplete” paralysis means you have retained at least some degree of sensory ability or motor control below your injury. An incomplete paralysis can manifest in a range of degrees.
The degree of your paralysis can also be defined as:
- Permanent – You will never regain control of your muscles.
- Temporary – You will regain at least some, possibly all, muscle control.
Paralysis Type by Muscle Condition
Paralysis can be described using the condition of your muscles as a guidepost. For example:
- Spastic – This type of paralysis is characterized by spasm in the muscles, which are tight and hard.
- Flaccid – In this degree of paralysis, your muscles may shrink and assume a flabby condition.
Complications From Paralysis
When muscles are affected by paralysis, other types of problems can unfold, disrupting a wide range of bodily functions. For example, a patient suffering from one of the different types of paralysis may experience:
- Blood clots in their legs
- Blood flow, heart rate, and breathing difficulties
- Inability to control urination
- Pressure sores and other skin ailments
- Difficulty swallowing/speaking
- Mood and behavioral changes
- Altered bones, joints, and muscles
- Sexual challenges
- Changes in how glands, organs and other tissues function
- Loss of bowel control
Recover Your Damages for Paralysis Caused by Another Party
If your paralysis was caused by the negligence of another person or party, you are entitled to receive compensation to cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. Pintas & Mullins is the go-to law firm for complex civil litigation, particularly cases involving severe injury, like paralysis.
We will give you the personal attention you deserve as we fight to achieve civil justice for your paralysis.
Call Pintas & Mullins today for a free legal consultation: 866-513-0846.