Accidents on a Pittsburgh road, in the workplace or at home sometimes result in a serious spinal cord injury. These types of injuries are frequently associated with causing paralysis, and it is true that damage to the spinal cord can cause loss of function below the afflicted area. However, as the AANS points out, spinal cord injuries vary in scope, with some resulting in total loss of motor function and some only a partial loss. This level of severity can have an impact on whether an injury victim can recover motor function.
The most important task at hand following a spinal cord injury (SCI) is stabilization. A patient that is not in imminent danger of death can expect treatment until it is time to begin rehabilitation. Rehab may begin at the hospital until the patient is ready to go home or be moved to a rehabilitation facility. How a SCI patient can recover lost motor function, however, depends on a number of factors.
People who suffer a complete spinal cord injury face the most daunting prospects for recovering motor function. It is not likely that someone with a complete SCI is going to reacquire function below the afflicted area. If a person is paralyzed, that paralysis is likely to be permanent. If any improvement is possible, it will typically manifest in a few days following the injury if the injury does improve.
More moderate SCIs do have the possibility of improvement as time goes on. It depends on the type of injury sustained. Some spinal cord patients do regain full motor function, but in many cases this is not a likely outcome. A patient may remain severely impaired, or perhaps regain enough mobility to get around with little or no aid and also keep control over bladder and bowel functions.
While striving to readjust to life with a spinal cord injury, patients should be aware of possible medical complications that can result from their injuries. A severe SCI may cause secondary complications that could be life threatening. A person who is rendered quadriplegic, for instance, is highly susceptible to conditions like pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis, and is increasingly vulnerable to suffering pressure ulcers as time progresses.
This article is written only to provide information on the topic of personal injury and is not to be interpreted as legal or medical advice.