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What may impact spinal cord injury recovery?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2020 | Accidents & Injuries

A spinal cord injury may be a life-impacting event. For people who have catastrophic injuries, the likelihood of their abilities fully recovering is not always guaranteed. There are a few points about the injury that might come into the picture that could alter the degree of potential recovery.

One misconception about these injuries is that the impacts are only going to be serious if the spinal cord is completely severed. The fact is that any damage to the spinal cord can lead to a reduction in abilities in areas of the body that are below the level of the injury.

What types of injuries can the spinal cord suffer?

The spinal cord can suffer many types of injuries. It can be crushed or stretched. Bruising can also impact it. It can be broken or severed. The type of accident influences damage. A direct blow to the back, such as what might occur if a motorcyclist is thrown off a motorcycle when they’re struck by another vehicle, is likely going to cause serious damage that may include the severing of the spinal cord.

How are these injuries classified?

Doctors classify spinal cord injuries according to the place where it occurs on the spine, as well as by whether there is function and sensation below that level. When the person has feeling and function, even if it is only limited, below the level of the injury, they have an incomplete injury. If they don’t have any sensation or ability to move areas of the body below the injury, it is a complete injury.

What may impact a victim’s recovery?

In most cases, incomplete injuries have a better recovery than complete ones. In the initial period after the spinal cord injury, the person may suffer from spinal shock, which is inflammation caused by the body trying to protect the area of damage. Unfortunately, this can lead to an increase in the damage. Trying to minimize this by reducing swelling is beneficial.

Another thing that can have a big impact is how soon after the injury you can start therapy programs. Even though you may be tempted to rest in those days, making an effort to do the therapy could benefit your ultimate recovery. If your injury isn’t likely to permit a full recovery, you can still use these sessions to learn how to cope with the effects of the injury.

Because medical care, personal assistance and therapy are expensive, you might opt to seek compensation. This can also help you to cope with the loss of income since you aren’t likely going back to work right away.