Trauma from a vehicle crash is a common cause of spinal cord injury or SCI. Symptoms vary but may include some form of paralysis.
A program of long-term rehabilitation can assist patients on many fronts including a return to an active lifestyle.
The bundle of nerves that make up the spinal cord carry impulses from the brain to other parts of the body. A spinal cord injury or SCI involves damage that either temporarily or permanently disrupts the work of the spinal cord. An injury usually results from a traumatic blow, such as the impact from a vehicle crash, that causes the vertebrae of the spine to fracture or become dislocated thereby adversely affecting the spinal cord.
There are two types of SCI: complete and incomplete. With a complete injury, the victim will lose all feeling or sensation below the injury site. However, with an incomplete SCI, some functioning will still exist below the injury site. Injuries do not always cause paralysis, however, but may result in issues such as breathing difficulties, digestive problems or exaggerated muscle spasms.
The more severe SCI cases are usually identified through x-rays that show the location of injuries and the extent of damage to the spinal cord. At this time, there is no way for doctors to reverse a spinal cord injury. Treatment includes medications and prostheses for nerve cell regeneration. Rehabilitation with electrical stimulation can improve the state of the nerves, restore functions such as bladder control and promote arm and leg movement. Victims of accidents that cause SCI have the right to expect full and fair compensation to cover mounting medical expenses during their often-long-term rehabilitation programs.