Spinal cord injuries and outcomes will vary

Any type of spinal cord injury, regardless of the cause, has the potential to change a person's life forever. In the most serious of situations, this type of injury can lead to a person's premature death. Any type of trauma to the spinal cord, such as in a car accident or sports collision, can cause damage.

The spinal cord does not have to be severed in order for damage to occur. If it's crushed, stretched or even bruised, it can have a negative effect on the body.

Complete or incomplete

When it comes to spinal cord injuries, it's good to know the difference between complete and incomplete. With an incomplete injury, the spinal cord does not completely lose its ability to convey messages to and from the brain. Also, movement may be possible below the level of the injury.

A complete injury is often more serious, as it results in a total loss of motor function and sensory below the level of the injury.

Even though a spinal cord injury is extremely serious, it's critical to remember that the right type of treatment can go a long way in helping deal with the problem over the long term.

If a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, there are many things you can do to help him or her. In addition to assisting with medical care and altering his or her home to be more accessible, you can help him or her better understand his or her legal rights. This is based largely on the type and cause of the accident.

Source: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, "Spinal cord injury types," accessed Aug. 02, 2017

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