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What Recovery Is Expected Following a Spinal Cord Injury?

Colburn Law

A spinal cord injury can be life-altering. In many cases, these injuries leave you partially or completely paralyzed, unable to move or feel sensations below the injury site. While some spinal cord injuries are permanent, it is possible for some victims to make a partial recovery.

Many factors can contribute to whether a patient will recover from a spinal cord injury. If you are living with a spinal cord injury, it is critical to consult with your medical team about your possible outcomes and access the right therapies and treatments.

Can You Make a Full Recovery from a Spinal Cord Injury?

Can You Make a Full Recovery from a Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is made up of a complex network of nerve cells, which are responsible for transmitting signals from the brain to the rest of the body. When a spinal cord injury occurs, these cells can suffer from significant trauma, leading to a loss of feeling and function. It can be extremely difficult for these cells to regenerate.

Full recovery after a spinal cord injury is extremely rare. However, it is possible for a person to regain some degree of function following the damage. Most people who recover from a spinal cord injury do so within the first 18 months after the initial damage.

What Factors Contribute to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery?

Recovery from a spinal cord injury often depends on how severe the damage is. Spinal cord injuries are generally categorized as complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury occurs when a person experiences a full loss of feeling and function below the injury site. The nerve signals are unable to travel through the cord. 

People who have incomplete spinal cord injuries are more likely to make a recovery. An incomplete injury occurs when the spine suffers partial damage, but nerve signals can still travel to other parts of the body. As a result, it is possible to regain some function.

What Treatment Is Available for Spinal Cord Injury Patients?

Treatment for spinal cord injuries is divided into two stages. The first stage of recovery occurs in the hospital after the initial injury, while the second stage occurs in the months and years following the damage. 

  • First-Stage Treatment: The medical team will focus on stabilizing the patient and evaluating the extent of the spinal cord damage. For example, if you are severely injured, you may need to spend time in an intensive care unit, receive corrective surgery, and undergo an MRI or CT scan. Your doctor may also use a cervical collar to stabilize your spine.
  • Second-Stage Treatment: The medical team will focus on rehabilitation, which takes place outside of the hospital. Depending on the extent of your injury, you may need to attend physical and occupational therapy. You may need to attend regular doctor’s appointments to monitor for any complications and track your recovery progress.

Filing a Lawsuit for a Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury can have a major impact on your life, and treatment can be very costly. In many cases, you may be eligible for financial compensation to help pay for these expenses. If someone else’s actions caused your spinal cord damage, you could file a lawsuit against him or her and recover financial compensation for your injury.

If you believe that you qualify for a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you need a lawyer on your side to fight for your right to recovery. After your accident, contact a Washington spinal cord injury attorney to discuss your next steps.