Spinal cord injuries are almost always very serious. The initial treatment usually involves surgery and other medical procedures at the hospital. The next step is extensive rehabilitation for physical and emotional health. If you or a loved one suffered this devastating injury, a compassionate spinal cord injury attorney with O’Connor, Acciani, & Levy can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Reach out today.
The most obvious area of the body affected by a spinal cord injury is the lower limbs. The injured party may need to learn to use leg braces, crutches, or a wheelchair, depending on their level of mobility impairment.
Many people with severe back injuries lose movement in their upper body as well, so it is important for them to keep their arms and shoulders strong. Due to the spinal cord’s connection to all bodily systems, the injured person may need to relearn how to perform basic functions, like eating, bathing, and using the bathroom.
Anyone suffering from spinal damage should also be educated on the risks of “pressure injuries,” which are injuries to the skin and tissues underneath. To avoid such injuries, it’s important to be careful about body positioning, bodyweight distribution, and transitioning between different positions to reduce pressure on the skin and underlying tissue. Basically, sitting still for too long or failing to exercise caution when repositioning yourself can cause bruising or tear the skin.
For injuries along the mid- to upper-spine, it is essential to receive regular lung care, as the breathing muscles might not function as they once did. A lack of caution about breathing abnormalities could lead to conditions like pneumonia.
After the initial recovery period, long-term treatment options depend on the specific needs of the injured person. In the most severe cases, an individual with a spinal injury might require daily care to assist with most aspects of their life. Otherwise, the person might return to a mostly normal level of activity with only some limitations. The level of care needed may change as you heal and undergo rehabilitation.
In every case, a period of monitoring by treating physicians is essential to ensure that a spinal injury remains stable. This could include return office visits, additional X-rays, and other tests to ensure that a back injury is not changing or worsening.
Since spinal cord injuries can affect every aspect of your life, counseling is strongly recommended. Healing can take a long time and is often painful and frustrating. People with these injuries need to learn to live with their new limitations, and a good mental health professional goes a long way to achieving that.