Paralysis, simply defined, is the inability to move, sense touch, or control bodily sensations due to an accident or medical condition. However, paralysis can come in different forms, and it affects people differently. Because of this, doctors classify paralysis into four main types. How much a person is incapacitated may change over time with physical therapy, health changes, and even luck.
What Causes Paralysis?
There are many different ways a person might become paralyzed. Approximately 1.2 million Americans are living with some type of paralysis resulting from spinal cord injuries. Car accidents, sports injuries, and falls are the most common cause of spinal cord injury. Some other paralysis causes are:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal tumors
The severity of paralysis depends on the injury and differs from person to person.
Monoplegia is paralysis of a single area in the body. People who suffer from monoplegia can usually retain control over the rest of their body, but they cannot feel or move the affected limb.
Causes of Monoplegia
Cerebral palsy is the leading cause of monoplegia, but there are some other causes:
- Nerve damage
- Brain injuries
Monoplegia can be temporary if brought on by an injury, like a stroke. If the nerves are not entirely severed, the individual can regain the affected limb’s function through physical therapy.
Hemiplegia is when both an arm and a leg on the same side of the body are affected. With hemiplegia, the extent of paralysis varies from person to person and can even change over time. It often starts with a pins and needles sensation before muscles begin to feel weak. Some people report that their functionality varies from day to day, depending on their health and activity.
Causes of Hemiplegia
Like monoplegia, hemiplegia is most commonly a result of cerebral palsy. Other factors like spinal cord injury, brain injury, and nervous system disorders can cause this type of paralysis. Hemiplegia can also be temporary, and the individual can regain some feeling or function through physical therapy.
Paraplegia is where the individual is paralyzed below the waist. This affects legs, hips, and lower bodily functions like bowel and bladder control. Common conceptions include the individual not being able to walk or move their legs. However, some people do have some control over the lower half of their bodies. Unlike monoplegia and hemiplegia, those with paraplegia rarely recover.
Causes of Paraplegia
Spinal cord injuries are the most common cause of paraplegia. These injuries impede the brain’s ability to send and receive signals below the injured area. Brain tumors, infections, and strokes can also be a cause of paraplegia.
Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is when an individual is paralyzed below the neck. It affects their arms, legs, and many bodily functions. Like other types of paralysis, the degree of disability varies from person to person.
Causes of Quadriplegia
Injuries from car accidents, falls, and other personal injuries are the leading cause of quadriplegia. However, tumors or infections in the spine or brain can cause quadriplegia. Some who suffer from quadriplegia report they regain some or full control of the affected area, while others slowly retrain their brains and body through physical therapy.
Trust an Experienced Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffer from a type of paralysis resulting from a personal injury accident, reach out to the Law Office of JG Winter team. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will allow you to receive the maximum compensation for your injury and losses.
At the Law Office of JG Winter, we provide strong representation and advice to clients in Sacramento and California. Call (844) 734-2626 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.