People usually notice the effects of a spinal cord injury right away after a traumatic incident occurs. They tried to leave the vehicle, only to realize that they cannot. On the other hand, they may recognize that they have an obviously broken leg and that they don’t feel any pain from the injured body part.
Regardless of how someone reaches the conclusion that they have a spinal cord injury, they will often panic, catastrophizing the situation and imagining the worst possible future. Medical advances in recent decades have made life far more comfortable for those with spinal cord injuries.
Is it possible to recover sensation and function below the injury site with the right care?
The extent of the injury determines your prognosis
Every spinal cord injury is different. From the type of trauma that causes the damage to the spinal cord to the placement of the injury, there are many factors that can differ from case to case. Whether the injury is complete or not is an important consideration.
An incomplete spinal cord injury may eventually respond to certain treatments, allowing an individual to recover some function below the site of the injury. A complete injury that has severed the spinal cord typically does not respond to treatment.
However, medical advances in the last few years have created the possibility of regained function with intensive interventions and physical therapy even in complete spinal cord injuries. Such treatment is likely many years from being readily accessible to the average individual with a spinal cord injury.
You may require ongoing treatment even if you can’t recover
Spinal cord injuries come with massive lifetime medical bills, in no small part because people need continuing medical support, ranging from pain management to physical therapy.
Even if you will not ever regain function because you have a complete injury, you will likely still require frequent medical care because of the injury. You may also have to make changes to your house, your vehicle and even your career to accommodate your new functional limitations.
Getting adequate compensation for a spinal cord injury after a car crash may mean going to court as insurance may not be sufficient.