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Types of Spine Cord Injuries

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

We have a spinal cord for transmitting signals. Sometimes, patients get this injury because of a traumatic blow to the vertebrae. You should know that a severe type of such injury can tear it completely.

When we talk about spinal cord injuries, we need to say that there are two main types. So, a patient can have a complete or incomplete type of injury. Complete types can be one of the following types:

  • Tetraplegia;
  • Paraplegia;
  • Triplegia.


Incomplete spinal cord injuries are also divided into such types:

  • Anterior spinal cord syndrome;
  • Syndrome of the central spinal cord;
  • Brown-Séquard syndrome.


If the connection between the spinal cord and the body is broken, it can lead to complete immobility. In the worst case scenario, a patient may lose the ability to walk, move, or even control his breathing. Also, there may be problems with bladder and bowel control. You should know that the patient may even die from a severe type of injury.

In this article, we will talk in detail about different types of spinal cord injuries.


Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

It is the most dangerous type. Such an injury deprives the cord of the ability to transmit signals to some body parts located below the injury. For example, if a patient has a lumbar spinal injury, he may lose control of his body below the waist. At the same time, he can still control his hands. But if a patient has injured your cervical spine, he may lose the ability to control body parts below the neck. 

symptoms of complete spinal cord injuries

The main symptom of such disease is losing the sensitivity of those parts of the body that are located below the injury.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Complete loss of mobility below the injury site.
  • It is difficult to control the bladder and bowels.
  • Difficulty breathing if the injury was inflicted too high.

It can be difficult to understand what kind of problem occurred in the first days after receiving an injury. It is because the symptoms of both types are pretty similar and, in the early days, have a reasonably strong intensity. However, gradually the situation will become more evident.

At this point, we suggest you figure out the names of complete spinal cord injuries in more detail.



This type of injury occurs due to a contusion of the cervical spinal cord. Such problems are usually one of the most dangerous and cause paralysis of all limbs. In some cases, it can deprive the patient of bladder and bowel control. Also, it can affect breathing and other essential basic functions. The higher the spinal cord is damaged, the more seriously it will affect the patient’s condition.



We can talk about such a spinal cord injury type when there is no sensitivity and the ability to control the lower body. It is due to damage to the thoracic spinal cord. In this case, the location of the injury again plays a role. The closer to the upper vertebra the spinal cord injury, the more severe the consequences for the patient.



It deprives the patient of sensation and the ability to control body parts in one arm and both legs. 


Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

Such conditions also usually occur due to damage to the spinal cord. It prevents the cord from sending signals to areas of the body that are located below the injury site. In some patients, spinal cord injuries can lead to impairment of certain sensory or motor functions. Also, this spinal cord injury type can cause loss of sensation in one arm and both legs.

types of incomplete spinal cord injuries

Fortunately, such an injury is more common and treatable. However, emergency medical attention should be called immediately if the patient has sustained such a problem. It can help to prevent severe consequences for human life and health.

Incomplete spinal cord injuries can also be of several types. Let’s look at them in more detail.


Anterior Spinal Cord Syndrome

This type of injury damages the motor and sensory pathways of the spinal cord. A patient who has experienced this type of injury may have partial sensitivity to areas of the body but cannot fully control them.


Syndrome of the Central Spinal Cord

In this case, the center of the spinal cord and the nerves for transmitting signals are damaged. Patients are less likely to experience loss of fine motor skills, paralysis, and damage to the legs. Some patients may experience problems with bowel or bladder control. Also, it can lead to losing the ability to have sex.


Brown-Séquard Syndrome

This injury occurs due to damage to one side of the spinal cord. The consequences of such a bruise can be expressed only on one side of the body. A patient with Brown-Secan syndrome may lose sensation in the left hand but have complete control of the right hand.


Read about the acute spinal cord injury in our other blog article.


Bottom Line 

Thus, we examined different spinal cord injury types and what subspecies they are divided into. This problem can be serious and incompatible with life, especially complete spinal cord injuries. With such a problem, a person loses the ability to feel and control areas of the body below where he received an injury. So, if a patient has received a complete type of injury in the neck area, he may completely lose control over most of his body. If the patient has such an injury, he should receive emergency medical attention immediately. It is also worth going through examinations as soon as possible to determine how this problem affected the patient’s condition. 

Lone Star Neurology offers the services of highly qualified neuropathologists who daily help people deal with a wide range of neurological diseases. We also help patients with rehabilitation after injuries. We can quickly diagnose the patient’s condition thanks to modern equipment and offer a specific extraction program. Go to our clinic’s website, where you can get acquainted with our services in more detail.



  • How long does it take for the spinal injury to heal?

The speed of recovery after a spinal cord injury depends on its severity. In the best scenario, recovery will be within six months after the injury. However, recovery from spinal cord injury often occurs within the first two years after the injury.

  • Can spine injuries heal?

Unfortunately, a spinal injury cannot be cured. However, with proper treatment, there is a chance to reduce the severity of symptoms, to alleviate the patient’s condition, allowing him to have sensitivity in all body parts again. Researchers are constantly working to find new treatment methods, developing modern prosthetic options and drugs that help restore the function of nerve cells and improve their work.

  • How serious are spinal injuries?

Spinal cord injury can be dangerous and have serious consequences. The higher the injury, the more complications. So, for example, a spinal cord injury in the neck area can paralyze all the lower limbs. Due to severe spinal cord injuries, a person can lose the ability to walk, control the bladder and intestines, and even breathe fully.

  • Can you walk with a damaged spine?

Yes, with the right treatment, there is a chance that a person will be able to walk again. One of the reasons for this is the ability of the spinal cord to regenerate and succumb to neuroplasticity.

  • How is a spine injury diagnosed?

To confirm a spinal cord injury, it is necessary to conduct examinations like computed tomography, MRI, or x-rays. These diagnostics can help study the pathologies and consequences of your spinal cord injury.

  • Can a spine injury paralyze you?

Yes, spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis. The location of the injury affects the paralyzed area of the body. If the injury is high enough, the patient may experience paralysis of most of the body and limbs. Injuries located low can lead to paralysis of the legs and lower parts of the body. However, spinal cord injury does not always lead to paralysis in the body. The presence of paralysis depends on the extent and location of the injury.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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