|Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury|
|Motor vehicle accidents. Auto and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.|
|Falls. Spinal cord injuries can result from falls due to slipping and tripping , as well as falls from buildings, stairs/steps and ladders.|
|Cycling, Sports and Recreation injuries. Athletic activities, such as cycling accidents, impact sports, and diving in shallow water can cause spinal cord injuries.|
|Disease. Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and inflammation of the spinal cord can also cause spinal cord injuries.|
|Medical Malpractice. Spinal cord injuries can be caused by physician or hospital negligence.|
According the Spinal Cord Injury BC, the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in British Columbia is physical trauma to the spinal cord as a result of motor vehicle accidents, which account for 35% of reported injuries, followed by falls, which account for 17% of reported injuries in the province. Additional causes include bicycle or other recreational accidents, medical malpractice and construction accidents.
Car accidents that cause a sudden blow to the spinal cord or the surrounding tissues, including ligaments, discs and vertebrae, can cause vertebrae to break or the sensitive tissues to become crushed or dislocated. If the injury spreads down the spinal cord, it can result in damage to the nervous system that interferes with motor function. Any damage to the spinal cord can result in difficulty functioning even if the spinal cord has not been severed.
Slip & Fall accidents are among the largest causes of spinal cord injuries – second only to vehicular accidents. The majority of personal injury suits can be attributed to one of two major causes: negligence and defective products. Examples of negligence include any dangerous condition involving a spill, collected water, a broken container or any other slippery substance or debris that was left unattended.
Defective products, such as a manufacturing or design flaw in a product open up the manufacturer and others to liability for any injuries that occurred as a result of their negligence. Some examples include an item that leaked leading to a slip and fall or a defective ladder causing a fall.
Surgical error or other medical mistakes can also cause spinal cord injuries. On rare occasions, a patient may suffer spinal cord injuries while receiving medical care for other injuries or medical conditions. Medical negligence which leads to spinal cord injuries may include misdiagnosing a medical condition which then results in spinal cord damage; performing a procedure on the spine, such as an epidural or spinal block, or surgery on the spine in a manner which falls below the requisite standard of care; and omitting to treat post-surgical complications efficiently and effectively.
Disease. Injuries resulting from the negligence of others such as in motor vehicle accidents, medical error or slips and falls due to unsafe premises, fall under Personal Injury law. However, there are other causes of spinal cord injuries, such as disease, that do not. Acquired diseases can cause tumors or cysts on the spine, or viral or bacterial infections, including polio. Other neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis can, in some cases, cause lesions on the spinal cord that can result in paralysis, and congenital disorders, such as spine bifida, can cause the spinal cord to be malformed or exposed at birth.