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Spinal cord injury: Location and type matter

Many types of accidents can lead to spinal cord damage. Regardless of the cause of the injury, the patient may have a long road to recovery. This is directly impacted by a few different factors. Understanding some points about the spinal cord and how it functions might help victims to be able to learn more about what type of recovery is possible.

When a person goes to get medical care for a spinal cord injury, the medical team will check a lot of things. The primary focus is ensuring that the patient is fully stabilized, starting with their ability to breathe. Once this is done, the team will work to find out more about the spinal cord injury.

Finding out the location of the injury

The location of the damage on the spinal cord determines what area of the body will be impacted. Weakness, paralysis and other effects occur below the spot that’s injured. When this is on the neck, both arms, the trunk and the legs are affected. A lower back injury would mean the pelvis and legs could be affected but the arms should still function normally.

Knowing the location of the injury can help the medical team to create a rehabilitation program that meets your needs. They can focus on helping you to regain what function you’ll be able to, and they can work on assisting you with finding ways to adapt to the effects of the injury that aren’t likely going to change.

Determining the type of injury

The type of injury that you suffer has a big effect on how much you’re likely to recover. Spinal cord injuries are divided into two categories – complete and incomplete. The complete injury is associated with a less complete healing than the incomplete one. A person who has a complete spinal cord injury won’t have any feeling or ability to move below the location of the damage. An incomplete injury leaves some motion and feeling below that level.

One thing that’s universal with spinal cord injuries is that the victim is likely going to require extensive care. This can be costly, so they might opt to seek compensation to help them cover the damages. Working closely with their attorney can help ensure that they have all defendants named and that they’re seeking all appropriate damages, including the projected future damages that you might incur.