Types of Paralysis

According to a Boca Raton paralysis attorney at The Grife Law Firm, paralysis can be classified in a number of different ways:

By Location

Localized paralysis affects only one part of your body, such as your hand or foot.

Generalized paralysis affects multiple body parts, often referred to as a group of conditions. The type and severity generally depend on the location of your brain or spinal cord injury. Specific types may include:

  • Monoplegia. This is a type of generalized paralysis that affects only one limb.
  • Diplegia. This is a type of generalized paralysis that affects the same area on both sides, like both legs, both arms, or both sides of your face.
  • Hemiplegia. This type of generalized paralysis affects just one side of your body, usually caused by a stroke, which damages only one side of your brain.
  • Quadriplegia (or tetraplegia). This is a type of generalized paralysis where all four limbs are paralyzed, sometimes along with other various organs.
  • Paraplegia. This type of generalized paralysis affects the body from the waist down.
  • Locked-in Syndrome. This is the rarest and most severe type of generalized paralysis, where a person loses control of all their muscles except the ones that control their eye movements.

In simpler terms, the various types of paralysis are often broken down into four main types:

  • Quadriplegia,
  • Paraplegia,
  • Monoplegia, and
  • Hemiplegia.

By Severity

As referred to above, the more body parts that are paralyzed, the more severe the paralysis is. For example, If you have partial paralysis, you’ll have some control over the muscles in the affected body parts. If you have complete paralysis, you’ll have no control over the muscles in the affected areas.

By Duration

Most types of paralysis may be only temporary. Guillain-Barré syndrome, for example, is a condition that can cause only temporary paralysis. Strokes can also temporarily paralyze only one side of your body. With proper treatment, you may regain some or all of your feeling and coordination over time.

Spastic vs. Flacid

Spastic paralysis affects tight and hard muscles. It may cause your muscles to spasm; in other words, twitch uncontrollably. Flaccid paralysis causes your muscles to shrink and become flaccid or flabby, resulting in muscle weakness.

An experienced Boca Raton paralysis lawyer at The Grife Law Firm can provide you with further information.

Symptoms of Paralysis

According to the Cleveland Clinic, paralysis renders you partly or entirely unable to move the affected parts of the body. Paralysis may be accompanied by a loss of sensation depending on the location of the injury. Strokes and spinal cord injuries cause sudden paralysis, and various medical conditions can cause gradual paralysis. Watch out for these potential symptoms:

  • Muscle cramps.
  • A tingling feeling in any limb or extremity.
  • A steady loss of muscle control and feeling.
  • Numbness or pain in the affected muscles.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Visible signs of muscle loss; in other words, atrophy.
  • Stiffness.
  • Involuntary spasms or twitches.

How is Paralysis Diagnosed?

Generally speaking, your doctor will give you a standard exam and ask about any injuries. Be sure to notify your doctor about any changes, especially the paralysis symptoms discussed above. To learn more, your doctor may order one or more of these tests:

  • X-rays. X-rays will reveal any broken bones that could cause nerve injury.
  • Imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI. These tests check for signs of a stroke, brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries. A full-body imaging scan shows bones, muscles, and tissues.
  • Myelogram. This test checks for spinal cord and nerve injuries.
  • Electromyogram (EMG) tests. This tests the electrical activity of nerves and muscles.
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture). This tests your spinal fluid for inflammation, infection, and disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS).

What Are the Complications of Paralysis?

Paralysis can cause complications to non-paralyzed bodily functions like heart rate and breathing. Depending on the type of paralysis, you may be at risk for:

  • Excessively high or low blood pressure. 
  • Heart problems.
  • Risk for pneumonia, difficulty breathing, and coughing.
  • Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems.
  • Urinary incontinence and loss of bowel control.
  • Bedsores (pressure injuries).
  • Sepsis.
  • Speech or swallowing problems, i.e., dysphagia.

How Can I Prevent Paralysis?

A leading cause of paralysis is spinal injuries. You can lower your chances of injuring your spine by taking these steps:

  • Don’t drive while impaired or ride with an impaired driver.
  • Protect yourself when participating in sports or activities. Wear a helmet when playing sports, have a spotter in gymnastics, and use cushioning mats when the activity calls for them.
  • Always wear a seatbelt. Make sure children are using car seats or booster seats correctly.
  • Check water depths before diving.
  • Never move someone who may have a head, neck, or spine injury. Call 911.

What Can I Expect After Becoming Paralyzed?

With rehabilitation, many people with paralysis learn to adapt over time. Many people with paralysis lead independent and active lives. People with quadriplegia need lifelong help from others, but their minds can stay active.

There’s no doubt that learning to live with paralysis is challenging. It may cause dramatic changes to your activities, self-image, and nearly all areas of your life. These changes can result in mental health issues and depression. Talk with your doctor about getting emotional and physical support. Document these treatments and support, as they may be eligible for compensation in the claim your Boca Raton paralysis lawyer pursues. 

How Can a Boca Raton Paralysis Attorney at The Grife Law Firm Help?

We have attorneys on staff that have extensive experience with paralysis victims. We’ll not only handle your legal claims so that you can receive the financial compensation you need and deserve, but we’re also keenly aware of the emotional trauma you’re experiencing. We’ll treat you like any other client: with compassion, understanding, and respect.

Turn To A Boca Raton Paralysis Attorney At The Grife Law Firm

No Fees Unless You Win

If you or a loved one is a victim of paralysis, you should contact a Boca Raton paralysis attorney at The Grife Law Firm.  We will review your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.  We assist injured individuals throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, including in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Call us at 855-998-0770 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.

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