After you suffer an injury to your back in an accident, you may be wondering whether you can recover from a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, no proven treatment exists to repair damage to the nerve fibers that make up the spinal cord. Doctors do have a few options they can use to try to help the victim receive some improvement, though.
For the best hope of benefit, doctors need to begin treatments as soon after the injury as possible.
Additionally, some causes of spinal cord injuries may alleviate with rest and recovery, such as swelling in the spinal column. However, if the spinal cord’s actual nerve cells suffer damage, the chances of any sort of significant recovery are minimal.
Understanding the Chances of a Spinal Injury Recovery
It is difficult to know whether the accident victim will see some improvement in his or her spinal cord injury in the early days after the accident. Mayo Clinic states that sometimes, doctors cannot measure the full extent of the injury for a few days or longer after the accident.
After a traumatic event where the spine and spinal cord suffer damage, swelling nearly always occurs. This swelling can create a situation where the spinal cord does not function normally. As the swelling alleviates, through rest and administration of medication, the spinal cord may begin to function better again.
Recovery Chances Drop as Time Passes
If the victim of a spinal cord injury accident is going to see improvement in his or her condition, it almost certainly will occur within the first few weeks after the accident. As more time passes, such as a few months, the chances of receiving improved spinal function begin to go down.
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Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
After a spinal cord injury, doctors will diagnose the victim with one of two types of conditions. There also are sublevels within each of the main conditions, depending on the severity of the injury.
- Complete: A complete spinal cord injury involves motor paralysis and a lack of feeling in the body below the injury site.
- Incomplete: An incomplete spinal cord injury means the victim has at least partial movement and sensation below the injury site.
When hoping to recover from a spinal cord injury, understand that your chances are better when the injury is less severe.
Treatment Options for Spinal Cord Injuries
Even though the nerve cells may not repair themselves after a spinal cord injury, you could notice some improvement in your symptoms through treatments the doctor will try, according to Mayo Clinic.
First responders to the accident will immobilize the neck and back, hoping to prevent further damage to the spinal cord. This can include using a neck collar and a backboard.
A doctor may use surgery to stabilize the spine, preventing further damage to the spinal cord.
While immobilizing the spine, doctors may remove any bone fragments or blood clots that are causing issues for the spinal cord or that are causing swelling in the spine.
Doctors may give you medication to try to alleviate some of the negative effects of the spinal cord injury, including medications for:
- Reducing swelling in the spinal column
- Controlling pain
- Reducing spasticity in the muscles
- Improving bowel and bladder function
As part of your recovery, doctors may require physical therapy to help you regain strength in muscles negatively affected by the spinal cord injury. You also may learn to change the way you perform certain tasks to deal with the injury.
As victims go through the rehab process, they may notice some improvement in their level of sensation and movement, but a full recovery is unlikely.
Working Toward Receiving the Judgment You Deserve
So, some people can recover from a spinal cord injury. However, other people will live with long-term disability or paralysis.
Even if your spinal cord injury shows improvement over time, you may not regain the full level of mobility you had before the accident. You might also be unable to enjoy the same activities you did before the crash, leading to a reduction in your quality of life.
If this happened to you in an accident, you could be entitled to a fair settlement from the insurance company. Count on Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to help you work towards a fair settlement offer for your pain and suffering and lost wages. For a free consultation, call us today at (404) 888-8888.