Location of Spinal Cord Injuries

Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

It is important for victims to understand that the location of their spinal cord injury has a direct effect on the extent of their condition. We at Cullotta Law Offices, PC provide clients with information and education on spinal cord injuries, along with offering comprehensive and aggressive representation.

To learn more about spinal cord injuries, please see the information below or contact our firm today. A free case consultation is offered.

Cervical (neck) injuries (C1 - C8)

  • C1 or atlas: C1, along with C2, forms the joint connecting the skull and spine.
  • C2 or axis: Forms the pivot upon which C1 rotates.

Injuries to C-1 and C-2 can result in a loss of many involuntary functions (e.g., inability to breathe) requiring breathing aids (e.g., ventilators or diaphragmatic pacemakers)

  • C4 (cervical vertebra): The fourth cervical (neck) vertebra.

Injuries above the C-4 level may require a ventilator for the person to breathe properly.

  • C5 (cervical vertebra): The fifth vertebrae from the base of the skull.

Injuries to C-5 often have no control at the wrist or hand.

  • C6 (cervical vertebra): The sixth cervical (neck) vertebra from the top.
  • C7 (cervical vertebra): The last cal (neck) vertebra from the top.

An injury to the spinal cord between C6 and C7 vertebrae is called a C6-7 injury. These injuries generally allow wrist control, but no hand function.

Injuries to C-7 and T-1 can straighten their arms but still may have dexterity problems with the hand and fingers. Injuries at the thoracic level and below result in paraplegia, with the hands not affected.

Thoracic Vertebrae (T1 - T12) Injuries

  • T1-T12 (Thoracic Vertebra): Provide attachment for the ribs.

Spinal cord injuries above the T1 vertebra affect the arms and the legs. Injuries below the T1 vertebra affect the legs and trunk below the injury.

Paraplegia — is paralysis of the legs.

Quadriplegia — is paralysis of the arms and legs.

  • T-1 to T-8 (Thoracic Vertebra): often control of the hands
  • T-9 to T-12 (Thoracic Vertebra): allow good trunk control and abdominal muscle control.

Lumbar Vertebrae (L1 - L5) Injuries

  • L1 (Lumbar Vertebra): starts at the ninth rib.
  • L3 - L5 (Lumbar Vertebra): involve much of the motion in the back
  • L4 - L5 and L5 - S1 (Lumbar Vertebra): are the most likely to herniate (also known as herniated disc , bulging disk, compressed disk, herniated intervertebral disk, herniated nucleus pulposus, prolapsed disk, ruptured disk, slipped disk).

The effects of this can cause pain and numbness that can radiate through the leg and extend down to the feet (sciatica).

Sacral Spine (S1 - S5) Injuries

  • S1-S5: are the five bones that fit between the two hipbones connecting the spine to the pelvis.

You do not have to face your spinal cord injury alone.Contact a lawyer at Cullotta Law Offices, PC today to learn more about spinal cord injuries and how we handle these and other personal injury matters. Call us at 847-651-7191 any time of the day to schedule your free consultation.


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Cullotta Law Offices, PC handles catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice and other serious personal injury settlements, claims and cases on behalf of people throughout Illinois - such as Glenview, Chicago, Elgin, Naperville, Oak Lawn, Arlington Heights and Cook County.