Spinal cord injuries caused by car crashes receive a lot of media attention, often dramatized in movies or works of fiction. In the eyes of most people, paralysis is one of the worst injuries a person could suffer. The idea of instantly losing functionality below an injury site terrifies many people.
Many times, when movies and books explore spinal cord injuries, the character suffering from the injury undergoes experimental treatments or responds very well to therapy, eventually regaining function in the impacted parts of their bodies. Is it actually possible for someone with a spinal cord injury to recover?
The nature of the injury affects the possibilities of a total recovery
Doctors who diagnose people with spinal cord injuries use two specific qualifiers to describe the injury. The first is a number-letter combination that represents the nearest vertebral bone to the spinal cord injury. This allows for the quick and effective communication of the location on the spine where the injury occurred.
Beyond that, doctors also classify spinal injuries as complete or incomplete. Generally speaking, patients will experience a loss of function or diminished function below the site of their spinal injury. For those with an incomplete injury, functional recovery may be possible.
In a complete spinal cord injury, the trauma fully severs or tears the spinal cord. There are no therapies yet that allow the body to heal from this kind of injury.
Surgery and extensive rehabilitative services are often necessary for those hoping to recover from a spinal injury. Negotiating an insurance claim or taking civil action against the person who caused the crash that hurt your back could be necessary to cover the costs of care for spinal cord injuries.