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Spinal Cord Injuries--Statistics and Causes

Spinal cord, brain, and other serious injuries are frightening, life changing, and complicated to live with and treat.  A recent press release by the Shriners Hospital for Children offered up a few surprising and eye-opening statistics related to the prevalence and common causes of spinal cord injuries.  Their list included the following statistics:

  • At least 30, if not more, American citizens every day are victims of a spinal cord injury that results in some form of paralysis
  • There are over 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury every year in the US
  • About half of all spinal cord injuries occur higher up the spinal column (around the neck area), which affects the ability to breathe, as well as motor control and sensation in all four limbs
  • Specifically for children, between 1,500 and 2,000 new spinal cord injuries are reported every year in the US
  • Among the most commonly reported causes of spinal cord injuries, especially for children and teenagers, are motor vehicle accidents, diving accidents, trampolines, and falls.


Attorney Doug Stoehr knows how difficult it can be when you or a family member has suffered a debilitating spinal cord or brain injury.  His legal practice is focused solely on personal injury, including cases where severe spinal cord, brain, and other serious injuries have occurred.  He has successfully handled cases for clients involving motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, and falls; most recently, one of his cases involving severe brain injury settled for over $1.2 million dollars. For more information, please contact our office at 814-946-4100 to set up a free consultation. 

Take Care With Spinal Cord Injuries

If you've ever been in an accident, such as a car or bicycle accident, you know how painful and persistent those injuries can be.  However, if you also happened to have injured your spine, the lasting damages can be even more severe. What are some of the expenses that occur after you've injured your spine? Take a look below.  

Medical treatment alone following a spinal injury can be exceptionally expensive, and requires a good deal of extended care.  You may require rehabilitation, mental health counseling, medication, and potentially permanent changes in your lifestyle and mobility. If you are permanently paralyzed, your medical expenses may total over $1,000,000 in your first year post-injury alone.  Some of your treatment costs may not be covered by insurance.  Additionally, you may find yourself paying large sums for lots of little add-on costs, such as gas to and from visits, meals while you're out, and wear and tear on your cars.  Of course, spinal injuries often also lead to a loss of income or a change in the ability to perform your job. 

If you've been in an accident, such as a motor vehicle or bike accident, and have suffered a spinal injury as a result, it may be time to consult an attorney.  Attorney Doug Stoehr is a central Pennsylvania lawyer who is skilled in handling these types of legal claims.  Call his office today at 814-946-4100 for a free initial consultation at his Altoona, PA firm. 

Throwback Thursday: NPR Gets In On The Chronic Pain Game

This week's Throwback Thursday is centering on National Public Radio (NPR)'s coverage of chronic pain.  It's great when a national news source such as NPR can weigh in and provide information about such an important medical phenomenon.  Here's the original article for your viewing pleasure:


Chronic pain is becoming an issue that is swiftly gaining national attention as more physicians are recognizing the disorder as a valid medical condition.  Among the many national news sources that are covering the topic of chronic pain, the National Public Radio is one of them.  NPR recently ran a radio interview covering an area within chronic pain that many patients grapple with:  the fear of addiction to pain medication versus the discomfort of chronic pain.  To read the NPR interview with Judy Foreman, author of "A Nation in Pain", or listen to the audio version, please click here.


Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania.  He takes cases for clients who are experiencing chronic pain as the result of an injury due to the fault of another.   For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 or visit his website at http://www.stoehrlaw.com.

One Father's Journey With Spinal Stenosis

If you've been following our blog for the past few weeks, you may have noticed that we're taking a closer look at spinal stenosis.  Spinal stenosis is a serious and painful medical condition that causes significant back pain.  Not only does it make it hard to do everyday tasks like lift groceries, drive a car, and sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, it may also make your work and recreational activities difficult, if not impossible, to enjoy.  We don't think anyone should have to suffer from this type of injury, especially when it was caused due to the fault of another person, such as being involved in a car accident.  

EverydayHealth.com recently ran a human interest story on a young father and patient educator who developed spinal stenosis.  Although his condition did not result from trauma after an accident, like a car crash or slip-and-fall, his story is a real-life example of the debilitating effect that spinal stenosis can have on every day life.  For him, his pain was so severe that he couldn't even turn a key or hold a pen! Read his story here to learn more about his journey and how he overcame his condition. 

If you think you're developing spinal stenosis and were recently injured, such as through a car, motorcycle, or bike accident or through a slip-and-fall, you should consider consulting with an attorney.  Not only may your injury worsen over time, you may also be facing situations like time off of work, limited mobility, and potentially permanent pain.  If you don't consult with an attorney and see what your options are, you may be missing out on some choices that may considerably help you and your family in the future.  If you're located in the central PA area, such as Altoona, Tyrone, Martinsburg, Bedford, and other surrounding areas, Attorney Stoehr is an expert attorney who is skilled in handling these types of cases.  Give him a call at 814-946-4100 to schedule a meeting and discuss your potential legal claim!

New App Can Monitor Gait of Spinal Stenosis Patients

We here at Stoehr Law take spinal stenosis pain very seriously.  As such, we try our best to keep our knowledge of spinal stenosis research and treatment as current as possible.  Recently, we discovered that there is a new medical app available for smart phones that can track the gait of spinal stenosis sufferers.  Gait, the way in which an individual walks, can sometimes be a sign of a serious medical condition.  In spinal stenosis patients, your gait can change due to pain in your legs and back and weakness in certain muscle groups. Most often, this compensatory walk is due to pain in the back due to arthritis or injury from something such as a car or motorcycle accident.  This gait is often maladaptive and can cause additional medical problems down the road.  
To read more about the new app and its corresponding scientific study, you are welcome to view an article from a Biotech website in Asia, where the research originated.  Overall, the study determined that this new app is a "more convenient and affordable method for long-term monitoring in an outpatient setting", meaning fewer medical visits and (hopefully) lower bills for many chronic patients.  
If you suspect that you have spinal stenosis and were recently injured, like in a car accident or something like a slip-and-fall, you should consider consulting with an attorney.  Not only may your injury worsen over time, you may also be facing situations like time off of work, limited mobility, and potentially permanent pain.  If you don't consult with an attorney and see what your options are, you may be missing out on some choices that may considerably help you and your family in the future.  If you're located in the central PA area, such as Altoona, Tyrone, Martinsburg, Bedford, and other surrounding areas, Attorney Stoehr is an expert attorney who is skilled in handling these types of cases.  Give him a call at 814-946-4100 to schedule a meeting and discuss your potential legal claim!

The Nitty Gritty of Spinal Stenosis

In case you weren't tuned in to our blog earlier this week, our law firm has been focusing on the medical condition called spinal stenosis, how it develops, and what your legal and medical options may be.  First of all, as a recap, spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which causes nerve pain that is often in the lower back.  It is much more common than you may think, and affects over 10% of our American population every year.  Some medical experts are even projecting that spinal stenosis may be diagnosed in almost 2.5 million people by 2021!  
As stated previously, spinal stenosis can be caused by a variety of things--aging, chronic use of a certain body motion (such as in professional athletes), and through accident or injury.  At our law firm, we handle cases for people who have spinal stenosis as a result of things like car, truck, motorcycle, and bike accidents as well as chronic back pain caused by situations such as slip-and-fall accidents.  Things like slipping and falling on an untreated, icy sidewalk, or through injuring your back and neck in a motor vehicle accident can lead to some serious and long-lasting spinal stenosis pain.  The pain may be bad enough to keep you from working, exercising, or even walking.   
Some people use the diagnostic tool of the "toothbrush test" as highlighted in our blog post earlier this week, and others state that if you feel nerve pain in your legs when you walk, you very may well have some degree of spinal stenosis.  This type of pain may lessen when you're sitting down, but the average person can't sit for 24 hours a day, making mobility and quality of life a huge issue.  The pain will NOT go away on its own, so it is imperative that you see a doctor if you start to develop these spinal stenosis symptoms.
If you think you're developing spinal stenosis and were recently injured, such as through a car accident or something like a slip-and-fall, you should consider consulting with an attorney.  Not only may your injury worsen over time, you may also be facing situations like time off of work, limited mobility, and potentially permanent pain.  If you don't consult with an attorney and see what your options are, you may be missing out on some choices that may considerably help you and your family in the future.  If you're located in the central PA area, such as Altoona, Tyrone, Martinsburg, Bedford, and other surrounding areas, Attorney Stoehr is an expert attorney who is skilled in handling these types of cases.  Give him a call at 814-946-4100 to schedule a meeting and discuss your potential legal claim!

 

Background information provided by CoastalPoint.com

The "Toothbrush Sign" And Pinpointing Spinal Stenosis

You may have been reading the sports section of your local paper recently and noticed that several athletes have been out of commission due to something called spinal stenosis.   Your doctor may have also brought up the diagnosis to you if you've recently complained of lower back pain.  So, what is spinal stenosis, anyway?

Basically, spinal stenosis is a medical condition where the spinal canal (where your spinal cord fits into your spinal column) is smaller than it should be.  This smaller canal causes your nerves to rub against each other and cause inflammation, followed by significant and often debilitating pain.  Doctors can sometimes diagnosis spinal stenosis through something called the "toothbrush sign", wherein patients complain of back pain when they brush their teeth in the morning.  It is a pretty unusual, but effective diagnostic tool!

Sometimes spinal stenosis is something you're born with, and other times it develops later on in life, such as through a chronic injury or work-related problem.   Others have developed spinal stenosis as a result of back surgery or injury, such as from a car accident.  Recently, New York Mets baseball player David Wright had to take off time from the game due to worsening pain from his spinal stenosis. 

If you think you're developing spinal stenosis and were recently injured, such as through a car accident or something like a slip-and-fall, you should consider consulting with an attorney.  Not only may your injury worsen over time, you may also be facing situations like time off of work, limited mobility, and potentially permanent pain.  If you don't consult with an attorney and see what your options are, you may be missing out on some choices that may considerably help you and your family in the future.  If you're located in the central PA area, such as Altoona, Tyrone, Martinsburg, Bedford, and other surrounding areas, Attorney Stoehr is an expert attorney who is skilled in handling these types of cases.  Give him a call at 814-946-4100 to schedule a meeting and discuss your potential legal claim!

Background information provided by this New York Daily news article

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