If your spouse suffered a spinal injury in a serious slip and fall or car accident, you may be confused by how your doctor describes their level of injury, especially if he is telling you they have a Class D spinal injury. What does that mean? The doctor is using the American Spinal Cord Injury Association (ASIA) scale utilized in determining the type of impairment a patient is suffering from. However, the terminology can be confusing to the accident victim and his family.
How to Understand an ASIA Scale Diagnosis
To understand an ASIA scale diagnosis, it is helpful to know how doctors divide the spinal cord into neurological segment levels that focus on what part of the body the nerves from each section control. The spine is divided into the following levels:
- 7 neck or cervical (C) vertebrae
- 12 chest or thoracic (T) vertebrae
- 5 back or lumbar (L) vertebrae
- 5 tail or sacral (S) vertebrae
The segments of the spine and spinal cord are further designated by letters and numbers, with the letters corresponding to the location on the spine or spinal cord. For example, C1 refers to the first vertebra in the neck or cervical level. The ASIA scale also classifies a person’s level of sensation as follows:
- A: Complete. The person has no sensory or motor function below the injury, including in the S4 and S5 region.
- B: Sensory Incomplete. The person would have some sensation below the injury, including in S4 and S5.
- C: Motor Incomplete. The person will have voluntary and sphincter contraction, and will have some function to three levels below the area of spinal injury, but most of his muscles will be weak.
- D: Motor Incomplete. This is similar to C, but most of the person’s muscles are fairly strong.
- E: Normal. The person will experience normal sensory and motor recovery.
So if your spouse was diagnosed with a Class D injury, they have a motor incomplete injury and will retain some function below the area of the spine injured, including some useful motor functions. Even with a less severe diagnosis than a Class A injury, they may face expensive medical treatments throughout their life and life-long limitations on their day-to-day activities. However, they may be entitled to compensation from the business or person that caused their injury.
Have You Been Injured In A Henderson Or Las Vegas Accident?
If you've been injured in an accident you need to speak with an personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule a free initial consultation.