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Common spinal injury syndromes and symptoms

Suffering a spinal cord injury can have catastrophic consequences both for the victim and their loved ones.

Many patients who sustain a spinal cord injury can require extensive periods of rehabilitation, and specialist treatment before they can eventually return home.

The eventual outcome of a spinal injury can often lead to lifelong physical disabilities which can vary depending on the severity of the injury sustained by the victim.

The spinal cord is an integral part of your anatomy. Its key purpose is to relay information from the brain to the rest of the body. If your spinal cord is injured, it causes disruption to messages traveling from the brain to the rest of the victim’s body and can cause a loss of sensation or movement below the area of the injury.

In this post we are going to look at 4 spinal cord injury groups or syndromes that can occur, and what the symptoms of each are.

Conus Medullaris Syndrome

This type of syndrome occurs when an injury is sustained to the lower spinal cord or the sacral spinal nerve roots. Causes of the injury can be through severe trauma to the area or a tumour.

There are a variety of symptoms that can arise as a result of the injury. These include various degrees of lower limb weakness, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and numbness in the area around your bottom.

Central Cord Syndrome

This type of injury occurs in the centre of the spinal cord and damages the nerves that carry signals from the brain to the spinal cord itself.

It is one of the most common types of incomplete spinal cord injuries.

In this instance ‘incomplete spinal cord injuries’ means it is a serious injury that affects the brain’s ability to send and receive signals to and from particular parts of the body but does not block the signals entirely.

As a result in some cases, victims will be able to recover full function that they lost immediately after suffering the injury.

Central Cord Syndrome is usually the result of damage to the vertebrae in the neck or the herniation of the discs in your spine.

Common causes of trauma include medical negligence, falls, sporting injuries and road traffic accidents.

Anterior Cord Syndrome

This is an injury that affects the top two-thirds of your spinal cord leaving the posterior column unharmed.

The symptoms of this type of injury can include complete paralysis as well as very sensitive skin.

This type of injury can also cause the victim to experience poor muscle power and a loss of coordination.

Again, this type of injury is caused by trauma to the spinal cord and is a result of bone fragments or compression of the spinal discs.

Posterior Cord Syndrome

This condition comes as a result of lesions appearing within the posterior columns of the spinal cord, which can lead to victims losing their sense of body position, causing serious mobility issues as a result.

Typically sufferers will preserve a degree of their muscular strength and pain sensation, as well as the ability to feel changes in temperature.

Common causes of this condition include neck hyperextensions, which can be caused as a result of whiplash. Spinal disc compression can also cause the condition to materialise.


The summary above shows the variety of symptoms that can become apparent when having to deal with spinal cord injuries.

This list is not exhaustive and many more symptoms and complications can occur as a result of a spinal cord injury.

It is essential that any individual who experiences a spinal cord injury sees a specialist medical practitioner in order to diagnose the injury as quickly as possible.

This will allow the proper treatment to be prescribed, in order to help the individual achieve the best possible outcome during the rehabilitation period.

If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury and would like to know if you are eligible to make a claim, contact us today.

Our specialist team of spinal cord injury solicitors will guide you through all the aspects of a spinal cord and spinal injury compensation claim.

Our focus is to achieve the best outcome for you ensuring you get the financial and medical help you deserve.

To speak to a member of our team call us for free today on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form and we will get back to you at a time more suitable for you.