What should spinal cord injury victims know about their injury?

A person who suffers a spinal cord injury has an uncertain future, but understanding a bit about their injury can help them to set goals. There are three primary factors that determine healing possibilities. These include the location, severity and type of injury.

Typically, higher, more severe, and complete injuries are more difficult to recover from than lower, less severe, and incomplete injuries. You can discuss the type of injury with your doctor.

What is a complete injury?

A complete injury damages the spinal cord in a way that renders the victim unable to move the area beneath the injury and the area does not have any feeling. The chance of making a full recovery is usually nonexistent.

What is an incomplete injury?

An incomplete injury damages the spinal cord, but the person will be able to feel some sensations or have the ability to move the area below the injury. Sensation and the ability to move might be limited but it provides some measure of hope that the person will be able to make at least a partial recovery.

Why does the level of the injury matter?

The impacts of the injury are felt below the level of the spinal cord that's damaged. Neck injuries can affect the ability to move the arms and legs, as well as a person's ability to breathe. While an injury in the lower back might affect the legs, it won't impact the arms or the ability to breathe.

How do levels the of injury impact the treatment plan?

Doctors have to take the level, type and severity of the injury into account when developing a treatment plan. Often, victims of spinal cord injuries will require a lengthy hospital stay and physical therapy. Some might need to have personal care assistance and intensive medical interventions at home. A spinal cord injury can be a very costly endeavor.

Victims of spinal cord injuries who were in an accident caused by another person's negligence may pursue a claim for compensation. A successful claim can lessen the financial impact, and it seeks to hold the negligent party liable for the impacts of the incident. There is a limited time to file a claim, so swift action is critical after the catastrophic injury.

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