1 (440) 442-6677


Get Legal Help

Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

Get Your Free Guide Now
Get a Free Case Evaluation

Spinal Cord Injury – Treatment

The severity of a spinal cord injury and the level at which it occurs – be it the upper or lower body – determines how the baby fares. Complete injuries are usually associated with the worst prognosis since babies with this kind of injury to their spine are often left completely paralyzed below the level of the injury. Babies who suffer incomplete injuries retain at least a small degree of movement and sensation.

Get A 100% Free CASE Evaluation     

The majority of spinal injuries in infants tend to be mild, but a baby may need to be fitted with a brace or other type of supportive device to allow the spine time to heal. Often, surgery may be necessary. Treatment with steroids along with rehabilitation can be implemented to prevent any permanent damage as the child grows up.

More About the Spinal Cord

The spinal cord serves a number of critical functions. It is a powerful package of nerves that work with the brain to transmit crucial messages responsible for functions in every single part of the body. In order to understand how and why a baby’s injuries can affect different parts of the body, it is worth having a basic understanding of the surrounding areas. The spine is divided into sections that correspond with different bones of the spine, including:

Elk & Elk
  • The sacrum – at the base of the spine
  • Lumbar – the lower back
  • Thoracic – mid-back
  • Cervical – the neck area

As a rule of thumb, the higher the location of your baby’s injury, the more significant the damage will be. Serious injuries to the spine are categorized as one of the following:

  • Quadriplegic/tetraplegic – results in loss of movement and feeling from the chest down and includes both arms and legs
  • Paraplegic – results in a loss of function and sensation in the lower part of the body

Since the spine plays a vital role, any injury has the potential for serious and widespread damage. There are 3 mains ways an injury to the spine can occur, including:

  • Complete tears, known as transection
  • Bruises, known as contusions
  • Partial tears

Typically, treatment options will depend on the severity and specifics of a particular injury in a baby.

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Spinal Injuries in Infants

If your baby has symptoms of a spinal injury from a birth trauma, the treating physician will usually conduct a thorough physical examination. To help with evaluation, he or she may also order one or more of the following tests:

  • X-rays – small radiation doses will be used to take clear pictures of the baby’s body
  • Blood tests
  • Magnetic resonance imaging – MRI uses computer technology, radio frequency waves, and electromagnets to take both two- and three-dimensional images of the baby’s spine and other parts of the body
  • Computer tomography scan – a CT scan is a non-invasive procedure that uses computer and x-ray technology to create thorough and detailed images of different areas of the infant’s body

Once a battery of tests has been conducted to determine the area and severity of the injury in the baby’s spinal cord, treatment for the injury will be customized to the infant’s individual needs. Treatment typically includes:

  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • Mobility assistance devices
  • Feeding support
  • Bladder support
  • Bowel support
  • Breathing support
  • Physical therapy

Your baby may also require a back brace or other kind of assistive tools to wear that will allow the spine to heal. Long-term prognosis for this type of birth injury depends on the location and severity of the injury and can range from paralysis to brain damage, learning impairments, and, sadly, death.

Seeking Legal Assistance for Birth Injuries that Are Caused by Medical Error

A baby who suffers a spinal cord injury at birth is usually affected for his or her lifetime. As a result, your family could face lifelong challenges in helping your child deal with his or her birth injury. If the injury was as a result of medical negligence, you might be able to seek compensatory damages that can help to cover treatment, medication, and other necessary expenses in the future. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for bringing such a lawsuit is one year from the time the injury was incurred or within 180 days of giving the notice to file a lawsuit.

Like any medical malpractice matters, birth injuries that result in damage to the spine are complex and require a knowledgeable lawyer who understands the intricacies of legal and medical issues involved.