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With winter quickly approaching, the Pennsylvania roads will once again become hazardous, putting you at even more risk than usual of becoming involved in a car crash wherein you sustain serious, possibly catastrophic, injuries. Unfortunately, if you suffer a spinal cord injury during your crash, you could spend the rest of your life confined to a wheelchair. 

The Mayfield Clinic explains that in order to understand an SCI, you must first understand your spinal cord and the vertebrae that surround it. They are located in the following five regions: 

  1. Your neck (cervical) region containing seven vertebrae 
  2. Your upper back (thoracic) region containing 12 vertebrae 
  3. Your lower back (lumbar) region containing five vertebrae 
  4. Your lowest back (sacral) region containing five fused vertebrae 
  5. Your tailbone (coccyx) region containing four fused vertebrae 

The higher your SCI, the more paralysis your body will sustain. In addition, you stand a good chance of losing most or all of the feeling below your point of injury. 


Paraplegia results from an SCI to your lumbar or lower thoracic region and causes you to lose voluntary movement in your legs, feet and the lower portion of your torso. In addition to being unable to walk, and therefore needing a wheelchair in order to move from place to place, you also likely will lose control of your bladder and bowel. 


Quadriplegia results from an SCI to your cervical or upper thoracic region and causes you to lose voluntary movement in your arms, hands and virtually all of your torso in addition to your legs and feet. This truly disabling condition requires you to have constant care in order to transfer back and forth between your bed and your wheelchair as well as to eat, drink, bathe, dress, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and all of the other things comprising your daily activities. 

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.