Following a major car accident, your injuries can ultimately shape how you live and work. Regarding spinal cord damage, motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes.
SCIs refer to damage to any portion of your spinal cord or its nerves. In most cases, the damage causes permanent changes in your bodily function below the injury site.
What are the types of spinal cord injuries?
Spinal cord injuries include incomplete and complete injuries. Incomplete refers to having some function below the injury site, whereas complete refers to losing all of your function below the injury site. To determine the type of SCI, professionals must determine the amount of movement lost by the injury, the loss of bladder or bowel control, pain or stinging sensations below the site and how you feel hot and cold.
What are the available treatments for spinal cord injuries?
Medical professionals cannot reverse spinal cord damage. However, you can live a more independent life with the help of medication, prostheses and mobility aids. Early after the injury, most patients spend time in the ICU. They may undergo surgery to remove bone fragments, herniated disks, fractured vertebrae or foreign objects. Likewise, surgery can stabilize the spine.
Following stabilization, medical professionals try to prevent secondary problems, like blood clots, infections, ulcers and bladder issues. Generally, most people who have an SCI go through rehabilitation. Your rehabilitation may include physical, vocational and psychological therapy.
Nowadays, various medical devices help patients live a more active life. Wheelchairs and electrical stimulation devices can help patients become more mobile.