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A Basic Guide to Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury is a complex injury that can change your life forever. Your recovery depends on the damage done to the cord itself during your accident. The following information is intended as a basic guide to the causes, complications and treatments of a severe spinal cord injury.

Common Causes

Spinal cord injuries are often caused in accidents. A motorcycle accident, car accident, slip and fall or other type of accident can result in such an injury if the spine is:

  • Cut.
  • Crushed.
  • Compressed.
  • Dislocated.
  • Fractured.

These things can result in immediate damage to the spinal cord as well as dangerous bleeding, swelling and inflammation.

Complications of Spinal Cord Injuries

Once you have been stabilized and received emergency medical treatment, it will be time to think about the future. It is important to consider the following potential complications that can follow a spinal cord injury:

  • Paralysis. This may be partial or complete paralysis and may include your legs, torso, and arms.
  • Loss of bladder control.
  • Loss of bowel control.
  • Loss of skin sensation that can lead to pressure sores.
  • Circulatory control issues that can lead to an increase in blood clots and a dangerous rise in blood pressure.
  • Respiratory system issues including difficulty breathing and coughing.
  • Change in muscle tone that can make movement difficult.
  • Weight loss, muscle atrophy, and other issues.
  • Sexual health may also be impacted.

These complications are scary.

No Cure is Currently Available – But There are Treatments

At this time, there is no way to reverse damage done during a spinal cord injury. However, doctors and researchers have come up with ways to improve the lives and outcomes of spinal cord injury patients. Some of the available treatments include:

  • Preventative emergency care that can lessen the severity of the injury. Emergency room staff will work to prevent shock and to prevent further damage.
  • Medications that may help lessen the damage if given soon after the injury.
  • Surgery to remove fragments of the spine or repair disks and vertebrae.
  • Long term treatments which can include rehabilitation, medications and assistive devices and adaptations.

The cost of these treatments, and your ongoing care, may be significant. However, if you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence then there may be help available for you. Please start a live chat with us today to learn more.