Understanding the Different Types of Paralysis

Paralysis is a complex condition that can manifest in numerous ways. The location on the spinal cord where the injury occurred and the severity of the damage to the spinal cord determines the extent and type of the paralysis.

Physicians often use several ways of categorizing the types of paralysis:

  • localized or generalized;
  • partial or complete; and
  • temporary or permanent.

Localized and Generalized Paralysis

Localized paralysis is where symptoms affect one particular body part. Nerve damage in one specific area of the body can lead to localized paralysis such as facial paralysis or paralysis of the hand. Generalized paralysis affects a much larger area than localized paralysis.

Generalized paralysis can be further broken down into the following types:

  • monoplegia – one limb is paralyzed;
  • hemiplegia – both the arm and leg on one side of the body are paralyzed;
  • paraplegia – paralysis in both legs, sometimes from the pelvis down; and
  • quadriplegia – also referred to as tetraplegia, patients with this condition have paralysis of both arms and both legs.

Partial and Complete Paralysis

Physicians can also describe paralysis as either partial or complete. Complete means that there is absolutely no sensation in the affected area and a complete loss of function.

For partial, on the other hand, the patient may have some motor function or sensation still present in the affected area. This type of paralysis has the best chance of improvement.

Temporary and Permanent Paralysis

Temporary paralysis often occurs as a side effect of certain conditions, such as stroke. The paralysis can last for days, weeks, or months, and the patient may start noticing a gradual improvement in symptoms.

Permanent paralysis most often occurs after a serious accident, in which vertebra and the spinal cord are damaged. Car accidents, slip and falls, and other incidents that cause severe trauma may significantly damage the spinal column.

The aftermath of a serious accident can be extremely frustrating for victims because in many cases, the doctors won’t be able to immediately determine the extent of the damage or discern whether the condition is temporary or permanent.

The National Health Service explains permanent paralysis: “There is no cure for permanent paralysis. Treatment is meant to help a person adapt to life with paralysis. Also, treatment aims at addressing health problems. Treatment options include mobility aids (electric or manual wheelchairs).

“As an alternate to wheelchairs, orthoses is available. Orthoses are braces made of plastic or metal to help improve function of a limb.” Undertaking these changes to a life can be very traumatic, overwhelming and costly. Restitution can help ease the transition to this new lifestyle.

A Lawyer Can Fight for Restitution for Paralysis Victims

It’s important to be aware that if a person was injured in a serious accident that was caused by someone else’s negligent or careless behavior, he or she may be eligible to file a personal injury claim and recover compensation for injuries and other damages.

D.J. Banovitz can help. With his experience in personal injury law and passion for helping his clients secure the fair compensation they deserve, he makes an excellent choice for legal representation for those in and around Denver. Contact D.J. Banovitz today for a free consultation at 303-300-5060, and let him determine how to best handle your paralysis claim.

D.J. Banovitz’ career has always concentrated on trial practice and he has litigated hundreds of cases. His passion and sole career focus has been to seek justice for people suffering from personal injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence. The hallmark of the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz, is the total commitment to professionalism, quality, and personalized care of your injury case. D.J. has dedicated his professional life to helping those most in need and is a proud and active member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. His experience includes volunteering for Colorado Rural Legal Services in Montrose, the Colorado Aids Project, consumer law, family law, criminal defense, and Alternative Defense Counsel for juveniles in Denver.