Being realistic about the impact of a spinal cord injury

Your spinal cord serves as the communication conduit between your brain and the rest of your body. It sends impulses to move your limbs when you want to walk or pick something up. It receives information from your body about pain and temperature and uses that to guide your behavior. This information travels as electrical impulses and becomes a physical movement or sensation.

When you injure your spinal cord, the outcome may be reduced or totally lost sensation and motor function below the site of the injury. Falls and car crashes are among the most common causes of traumatic spinal cord injuries. What kind of impact can you expect a recent spinal cord injury to have on you?

Some symptoms may not be permanent

There are both incomplete and complete spinal cord injuries. A complete injury often permanently limits sensation and mobility below the injury site. Incomplete injuries can have a profound impact on someone’s sensations and function, but such injuries may heal or respond to treatment.

Although there is promising medical research utilizing implants and extensive rehabilitative support that has allowed some people with complete spinal cord injuries to regain the ability to walk, such treatment is still many years from being accessible to the average individual with a spinal cord injury. Currently, most people with incomplete and complete injuries will experience lasting medical issues related to their condition.

The financial impact of the injury will be massive

Simply connecting with the trauma care that you require immediately after a spinal cord injury can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the location and severity of the injury. You will likely have ongoing costs for the rest of your life, even if you don’t undergo experimental treatments.

Additionally, you may need some specialized vehicles or major changes to your home as a result of your injuries. Insurance alone may not be enough to cover all of those expenses. A personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver or a negligent property owner may be necessary for you to secure full compensation for your costs.

Realistically evaluating the impact of a catastrophic injury like a spinal cord injury will help you reduce the lasting impact the injury has on your life.