If you end up in an accident that damages your spinal cord, you might wonder whether you have any chance of recovery. While it is true that many people do not recover motor function lost as a result of a spinal cord injury, in some cases, people may improve their conditions.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) describes the prospects for a person to recover following a spinal cord injury. The road to recovery is not easy, and because spinal cord injuries are so serious, they often leave a lasting impact on the life of a person.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people that do see some recovery from a spinal cord injury usually experience it within a short time span following the injury. It may begin a week to six months out, but the quickest recovery generally occurs six months after a spinal cord injury. However, some patients may still improve slightly in the first two years after the injury.
Depends on injury
Whether you have a chance of recovery depends on the kind of injury you sustain. If you experience a complete spinal cord injury (SCI), meaning you lose all motor function beneath the point of injury, it is unlikely you would regain full motor function. If you have any improvement at all, it will typically show itself in the first few days following the injury.
Your recovery prospects improve if you have an incomplete SCI. With an incomplete SCI, you would only lose partial function past the point of injury. With treatment and rehabilitation, you may regain more and more functionality with time, but you might not regain all the movement you have lost. Some people with an incomplete SCI recover enough to control their bowel movements and walk around.