If you suffered from a spinal cord injury, treatment can be extensive and life-long. In the U.S., the most common cause of a spinal cord injury or an SCI is a motor vehicle accident, explains the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
An SCI can cause the loss of all motor and sensory function below the injury or cause the loss of some function below the injury.
If you have a spinal cord injury, odds are you will be in the intensive care unit. Physicians will attempt to keep your body stable, to align the spine and to maintain lung function, cardiovascular function and blood pressure levels. If there are any complications or infections, the doctors will treat them in the ICU.
You may require surgery if you have a blood clot, lesion or herniated disc. Even if you suffered damage to your spinal cord and the doctors cannot reverse the damage, you may still require surgery to stabilize the spine.
Recovering from an SCI depends on the type of injury you sustained. You may be at risk for secondary medical complications, such as pressure ulcers, deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia. If you are in a stable condition, physicians can focus on rehabilitation. While you may not be capable of a full recovery, some improvements can occur over time. For instance, some people with SCIs may be able to regain some control of lost bodily functions.
Rehabilitation also focuses on teaching patients how to live with their injury. They may require supportive care, physical therapy, counseling or occupational therapy.