Many people living in Pennsylvania and throughout the country suffer with a spinal cord disorder known as spinal cord infarction. The disorder is a stroke that occurs either in the arteries connected to the spinal cord or inside the spinal cord. The condition is caused when arteriosclerosis of the spinal arteries happens, which is when the arteries thicken or close.
In many cases, spinal cord infarction is brought about whenever the main arteries supplying the spinal cord become blocked from a deposit or build-up of lipid-containing material, which is another type of arteriosclerosis referred to as atheromatosis. People with this condition suffer with abrupt symptoms including irregular and acute back or chest pain, paralysis, incontinence, loss of pain and temperature sensation, weakness and pain in the legs and loss of deep tendon reflexes. Symptoms show up abruptly, but they could take just a few minutes to several hours before they appear.
Treatment for spinal cord infarction is symptomatic in approach. While some people suffering with paralysis or weakness may benefit from occupational and physical therapy, others may require a catheter to assist them with urinary incontinence. Prognosis, too, differs with each person and how severe his or her condition is. Patients who receive early treatment may experience a quicker recovery. Although paralysis may extend for several weeks, for others it can be permanent. The good news is that a large majority of patients tend to recover from the condition. In addition, several organizations are working towards ways to prevent and cure the disorder.
Spinal cord injuries can be catastrophic in nature and could result in permanent disability. If the injury is the result of another person’s negligence, an attorney for an injured victim might find it advisable to seek damages from the at-fault party through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit.
Source: NINDS, “NINDS Spinal Cord Infarction Information Page”, Oct. 24, 2014