Florida Spinal Cord

The Basics About Florida Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be life-altering. According to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center’s (NSCISC) 2018 SCI Data Sheet, there are about 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases each year and around 288,000 people currently living with SCI in the U.S.

Spinal cord injuries in Florida can vary greatly depending on the location and completeness of the injury.

medical doctor man pointing at spinal cord injury areas using human skeleton model

Four Major Sections of Spinal Cord


The Cervical Spinal Cord

The section of the spinal cord closest to the top, connecting to the brain. Injuries in this portion of the spinal cord are the most limiting.

The Thoracic Spinal Cord

The middle portion of the spinal cord. Injuries at this level typically leave SCI survivors with control over their arms, but not their legs.

The Lumbar Spinal Cord

This portion of the spinal cord is located in the lower back. Injuries at this level often cause a loss of control over the legs and bladder.

The Sacral Region

The lower part of the spine, with a triangular shape. Does not contain any spinal cord, but injuries here may cause loss of bladder or bowel control, leg pain, or sensory issues.

Injuries in this area may be classified as either complete or incomplete. Complete injuries indicate a full severing of the spinal cord, completely isolating the nerves at the site of the break from the rest of the spinal cord and preventing function below the injury site. Incomplete spinal cord injuries indicate a partial break, with some nerves still being connected below the injury site. An incomplete spinal cord injury is typically less limiting than a complete injury at the same level of the spinal cord.


Paramedic placing a cervical collar to an injured woman from car accident

Regardless of the cause, spinal cord injuries can incur massive expenses for treatment—easily reaching millions of dollars over the lifetime of the SCI survivor. Injuries to the cervical portion of the spine can be especially expensive to treat. Aside from treatment, many SCI survivors will need to make significant changes to their living space to accommodate their new limitations—changes that will be costly.

On top of the monetary costs, many spinal cord injuries lead to a severely reduced quality of life and average life expectancy. So, when an SCI is caused by someone else’s negligence, it is only natural to seek compensation.

Causes of Spinal Injury

There are many potential causes of spinal injuries that can happen in Florida. According to the NSCISC’s data, the most common causes of spinal injuries are:
Vehicular crashes 38.3%
Falls 31.6%
Violence 13.8%
Sports 8.2%
Medical/surgical incidents 4.6%
Other 3.5%