Author Question: Can Onset of Paralysis be Delayed after a Fall?

Kaylee Asks:

In a book I am working on the main character falls off of a one-story wall injuring his back. Could he be paralyzed? If so, would it be possible for paralysis to set in an hour or two later? Would he be able to remain conscious and still walk for about an hour? He is a spy, mid 20’s, strong, and loves to run.

Jordyn Says:

In my experience, I’ve never seen a delay in onset of paralysis. Usually, it is immediate. I’ve not personally seen people with devastating paralysis from a fall from this height. Broken legs/arms, lacerations, and concussions . . . sure. Could a spinal cord injury happen? Of course there are always outliers. If you did write this, it would help believability if the character fell directly onto their head (called an axial loading injury) or onto another hard object (like a rock or something with a hard edge) to increase the chance of a complex fracture causing paralysis.

I did some hunting regarding spinal bones specifically. This article says three meters (which equates to about 10 feet or one story) can cause spinal fracture, but just because you break the bones doesn’t necessarily mean paralysis. A person with a stable fracture of their back can be up and walking around. I’ve seen this plenty of times.

I  did find one article where a woman did have delayed onset of paralysis of four days, but if you read through the article she had a significant mechanism of injury and died as a result of complications of her injuries.

Best of luck with this story!


Autumn Is Here!

Autumn is a time of change. Anyone who knows me knows that fall is my favorite time of year. There’s really not much to love about it. Pumpkin Spice everything (you’re safe here my pumpkin spice friends!) Caramel apples. Cooler weather. Sweater time!

fall-1432252_1920Plus, there’s all things spooky and scary. Perfect time of year for a suspense author. Who’s watching the new television show The Exorcist? Me? Of course!

This is my first official WordPress post for Redwood’s Medical Edge and I’m super excited to be here. Thanks to everyone that followed me from Blogger– I really appreciate it!

Some of my earliest posts didn’t transfer from Blogger (which, shockingly, some of you may not have seen!) I’ll be blogging more frequently to pull some of these posts from Blogger as well as great new content and having some of my super awesome author friends stop by as well. There’s going to be a lot of giveaways– particularly before the end of the year– so be sure to subscribe to these posts as that’s one of the easiest ways to be eligible for prizes.

I’ll also be focusing more on my author newsletter (sign up here!) and my new secret street team, Jordyn Redwood’s Forest, as a way to interact more personally with readers. Want free copies of my books before anyone else? Want to help me develop new stories? The street team is where you need to be. There will be exclusive content only in my newsletter so be sure to sign up!

Happy Fall!