Learn about spinal cord anatomy and injuries that can occur

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Motor vehicle accidents, Serious injuries |

Suffering an injury to your spinal cord in Connecticut can change your life drastically. This part of the body is responsible for carrying signals from the brain to other essential areas. If it’s compromised, you can become paralyzed and lose sensation.

Anatomy of the spinal cord

Your spinal cord extends from the base of your brain to your lower back. It’s about 45 cm long if you’re a male and 43 cm if you’re a female. Three parts make up the spinal cord, which includes the following:

  • Cervical region – neck
  • Thoracic region – chest
  • Lumbar region – lower back

The spinal cord is protected by three layers, which are called meninges. They include the following:

  • Dura mater: A tough, protective coating that is the outermost layer of the spinal cord’s meninges
  • Arachnoid mater: Acts as a middle layer of spinal cord covering
  • Pia mater: The layer directly covering the spinal cord

Along with these layers, an epidural space is located between the arachnoid and dura. Local anesthetics are often injected into this area to help reduce pain during surgical procedures or childbirth. Cerebrospinal fluid is located in the subarachnoid space, which is located between the pia mater and arachnoid mater. This whole region is covered by the spinal column, starting at the base of your skull and extending down to your sacrum.

Injuries can cause loss of function immediately

Automobile accidents, gunshot wounds or getting struck while participating in a sporting event can cause a spinal cord injury. Due to the importance of this delicate part of your body, movement and sensation can be affected negatively. A complete injury will likely eliminate these functions. An incomplete injury offers some hope for limited movement and sensation, depending on the severity of the damage.

The spinal cord is one of the most essential components of your body. If it gets injured, it can change your life drastically.