Spinal cord injuries are often deemed catastrophic, meaning they will have a lasting or permanent impact on a victim’s life. However, it may be possible for an accident victim who is diagnosed with a spinal cord injury to recover some or even all lost function and feeling, depending on the diagnosis. A victim’s recovery depends on the type of spine injury and the individual’s response to treatment.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms and Long-Term Effects
A spinal cord injury can affect the nervous system, resulting in a temporary or permanent loss of motor function and the ability to feel sensations below the point of injury. This is known as paralysis. Two common types of paralysis are paraplegia (paralysis below the waist) and quadriplegia (full-body paralysis).
A complete spinal cord injury causes permanent damage to the affected area, while an incomplete spine injury means the spinal cord is still able to send some messages to and from the brain. This means the patient can retain partial feeling or sensation in the affected area. Other symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include loss of balance or coordination, changes in reflexes and muscle movement, bladder and bowel incontinence, and respiratory problems.
Available Spinal Cord Injury Treatments
In most cases, paralysis caused by a severe spinal cord injury is irreversible. However, if the victim suffers an incomplete spinal cord injury, he or she may be able to recover some or all lost feeling and function below the point of injury with various medical treatments. Most patients require ongoing therapies and rehabilitation.
Spinal cord injury treatment options can include:
- Surgery to address spinal damage from broken bones or damaged tissue
- Nerve blocks, such as spinal injections or epidurals
- Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and mobility
- Occupational therapy to improve fine motor skills
- Medication to alleviate pain, swelling and other symptoms
- Assistive devices, such as braces or a wheelchair
- Adaptive devices to aid in communication
The appropriate treatment plan for a patient will depend on his or her specific spinal cord injury diagnosis, location of the damage and injury severity. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury for a 25-year-old victim ranges from approximately $1.9 million to $5.8 million.
Spinal Cord Injury Recovery
Only a doctor can discuss a patient’s prognosis and chances of recovery after a spinal cord injury. Specialized spinal cord injury lawyers in Denver understand that these types of injuries are highly complex and vary significantly from patient to patient. The greatest amount of recovery typically takes place in the first six months following the spine injury. After this, small improvements may still occur to a patient’s health status for up to two years with treatments. However, every patient and case is unique. There have been cases where patients beat the odds and surpassed their estimated recovery limits.
Paying for a Spinal Cord Injury in Denver
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury after a preventable accident, contact the experienced Denver personal injury lawyers at Manning Law for a free case consultation. You may be eligible for financial compensation from a negligent party to help you and your family pay for necessary treatments, ongoing medical care, lost wages while you are in recovery or a permanent disability. Call (720) 515-3191 for a free case evaluation to learn more.