The Main Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The Main Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The Main Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be serious and have a huge impact on the way we live our lives. The most common causes of spinal cord injuries in Ontario are injuries from car accidents, slips and falls, and sports injuries.

Spinal cord injuries can be split into two different categories: incomplete spinal cord injuries and complete spinal cord injuries.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries

Incomplete spinal cord injuries account for a large majority of spinal cord injuries as doctors can treat and rehabilitate this kind of injury. Any further complication is unlikely as long as proper treatment is received.

Though sensory and motor function will remain below the site of an incomplete spinal cord injury, you may still experience chronic pain from this kind of injury.

Below are some examples of incomplete spinal cord injuries:

Anterior Cord Syndrome

Anterior cord syndrome is a kind of spinal cord injury that results from injury to the front of the spinal cord and commonly affects only the anterior two-thirds of the spinal cord.

Motor paralysis and a loss of pain and temperature are usually present below the site of injury with this kind of incomplete spinal cord injury.

Brown-Sequard Syndrome

Brown-Sequard syndrome is an incomplete spinal cord injury where the injury is present on only one side of the spinal cord and mostly affects the side of the body where the injury is.

This kind of injury can lead to loss of function or weakness on the side of the injury as well as loss of pain and temperature on the opposite side of the injury.

Central Cord Syndrome

Central cord syndrome is when an injury has occurred to the center of the spinal cord. This kind of injury affects the function of the upper parts of the body more than the lower parts. It may also cause bladder retention and some sensory deficits.

While recovery of the movement of the arms is rare in these cases, recovery of the movement of the legs may be possible.

Posterior Cord Syndrome

Posterior cord syndrome is defined as damage or injury to the back of the spinal cord that is usually caused by a non-traumatic incident. Posterior cord syndrome results in loss of coordination.

Complete Spinal Cord Injuries

A complete spinal cord injury is defined as an injury to the spinal cord that results in complete paralysis below the site of injury. Usually, the spinal cord is completely severed or compressed.

Paralysis, in this case, is bilateral, meaning it affects both sides equally and results in loss of sensory and motor function.


This kind of paralysis affects all four limbs (both arms and legs). The injury usually occurs in the cervical spinal cord and the location of this injury defines the severity of the paralysis.


This kind of paralysis is defined as loss of motor and sensory functions in the legs and the pelvis. In this case, arms are not affected.

An injury that leads to paraplegia usually occurs in the thoracic or lumbar portions of the spinal cord.


Paralysis in this form affects three limbs (an arm and two legs for example). This kind of paralysis is usually caused by complications of a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury.

Looking For An Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer In Hamilton? Contact Virk Lawyers Now!

If you have experienced any of these spinal cord injuries and are seeking professional advice from a spinal cord lawyer, Virk Personal Injury Law is proud to provide advice to those in the Hamilton area. Contact us today to speak with one of our personal injury lawyers!