Many individuals hear about someone suffering a spinal cord injury, and they automatically assume that the individual has quadriplegia, which means that they don’t have functionality in their four limbs.
Most spinal cord injury patients don’t suffer from quadriplegia. Their odds depend on whether they suffer a complete or incomplete injury. This detail also impacts whether a patient might have any ability to recover functionality in the affected limbs.
How do complete and partial spinal cord injuries differ?
Our vertebrae, the muscles and other tissue that surrounds them serve as protection for our spinal cords. Even still, it’s possible for sudden impact from a contact sport, assault, car crash or some other incident to be so severe that it results in injuries to someone’s spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries can either be complete or incomplete. Incomplete spinal cord injuries often result from the severing, fraying or pinching of the spinal cord. These incomplete injuries can impact both sensory and motor functionality.
Individuals diagnosed with complete spinal cord injuries may receive their diagnosis after fully severing or tearing their spinal cord. These patients generally experience a complete loss of motor function or sensation from the location of the injury on down.
Are complete or incomplete spinal cord injuries recoverable?
Individuals who have suffered incomplete spinal cord injuries can potentially recover some of their lost functionality by undergoing surgery or physical therapy. Other spinal cord patients who aren’t as successful in regaining some functionality may have to rely on adaptive tools to aid in completing everyday tasks.
Experimental treatments are currently being utilized in clinical trials with incomplete and complete spinal cord patients that aim to help them regain their bodies’ functionality. One of the more promising ones is functional electrical stimulation, which activates the muscles to aid spinal cord patients with mobility and function.
A good rule of thumb is that the higher the injury to someone’s spinal cord is, the more significant functional impairments they will endure. The more comprehensive the injury, the more likely that you are to need around-the-clock care. The more active you are in trying to regain functionality, the higher your medical costs are likely to be. You’ll definitely want to recover as much compensation as possible to cover these expenses if someone’s negligence resulted in your injury.