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10 fast facts about a spinal cord injury

Your spouse was in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. As you walk down the new path that living with a person with this type of injury entails, you might have some questions. A basic understanding of spinal cord injuries can help you to know what to expect.

  1. The level of injury matters - The place where the spinal cord injury occurs impacts the effects. Higher injuries are associated with more severe effects. At the highest level of the cervical spine, the injury might be fatal because of the inability to breathe.
  2. The type of injury matters - Spinal cord injuries are either complete or incomplete. A person with a complete injury is less likely to recover fully from the injury than a person with an incomplete injury.
  3. The causes of spinal cord injury vary - Falls, motor vehicle accidents, birth injuries, sports accidents, diving accidents and trampoline accidents are some causes of spinal cord injuries. Basically, anything that compresses the spine or causes it to be bent in an unnatural manner can lead to a spinal cord injury.
  4. Spinal cord injuries aren't all that common - There are only around 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries each year. In the United States as a whole, there are around 250,000 people living with spinal cord injuries.
  5. Spinal shock might occur - Some spinal cord injuries involve spinal shock, which occurs when the level below the injury is temporarily impacted. If spinal shock is present, it is possible for the person to regain some use and feeling within hours to weeks after the accident.
  6. Treatment for spinal cord injuries is intensive - Spinal cord injury recovery usually requires multiple types of treatment. Medical care, rehabilitation and medication management are just a few of the treatment types that might be necessary.
  7. Life-long care might be necessary - Severe spinal cord injuries are likely to result in a life-long need for care. Higher level injuries might require constant care for the remainder of the victim's days.
  8. Every aspect of life might be impacted - Everything from mobility and social interaction to self-care and sexual function can be impacted by a spinal cord injury. This could mean that your husband loses friends and can't do the things he enjoys doing.
  9. The cost of a spinal cord injury is considerable - Your husband's age and the level of injury can impact the overall cost of the spinal cord injury. The cost of a spinal cord injury for a 25-year-old person who suffers an incomplete injury at any level is around $1,578,274. At the same age, a C1 to C4 injury would cost around $4,724,181 over their lifetime.
  10. The entire family is affected - Your husband's spinal cord injury will affect your entire family. Doing activities might be difficult because of mobility issues. Children have to learn how to interact with Daddy now that he c an't do the things he once did.

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