Injuries to the spinal cord, as most of us are keenly aware, are serious. Spinal cord injuries can have a wide range of consequences, some of them acute. They can change a family’s life in a heartbeat.
Every year, 12,500 Americans sustain injuries to the spinal cord. There are two principal varieties of this type of injury. The first is “incomplete” and the second, “complete”.
Incomplete spinal cord injuries result when the spinal cord is not completely severed. Patients will retain some function, but that function is largely dependent on the severity of injuries in individual cases.
In the case of a complete spinal cord injury, the spinal cord is severed entirely. That means the function is lost. In some cases, patients may be able to regain some function through supportive treatments like physical therapy, over time.
It’s heartening to know that knowledge of the spinal cord has changed the prognosis for many of those who sustain them. While incomplete spinal cord injuries account for 60% of injuries to this crucial component of the body, cases of complete severance are now better understood.
Response to injuries of this nature and public and medical knowledge about the treatment of suspected spinal cord trauma have improved overall outcomes greatly.
Unlike other injuries to the spine, trauma impacting the spinal cord will make itself known immediately.
Difficulty breathing, partial or complete paralysis, loss of or problematic bladder and bowel function and nerve pain are all associated with this severe type of spinal injury.
Diagnosis and treatment.
Imaging tests like MRIs will be deployed, as well as tests to gauge sensation and movement in your extremities and brain function.
After having sustained trauma to the spinal cord, it’s imperative that patients remain as still as possible, as movement can exacerbate the injury. Typically, immobilization of the head and neck with a collar, assistance with breathing and other protocols will be immediately applied.
Every case of spinal cord injury is different. Treatment can range from physical therapy to finding methods of making a paralyzed patient more comfortable and to facilitate breathing. Counselling for the patient and family may be prescribed, so they can learn how to cope with the reality of living with the fallout of spinal cord injury.
Finally, surgery may be indicated to assist the patient with health problems arising from the injury.
Spine Care in New Jersey.
The team at Spine Consult NJ specializes in the treatment of all conditions of and injuries to the spine. If you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury and seek the support of a specialized facility, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation.
We’ll work with you to find the most effective solutions to the status of your spinal cord injury, ensuring your maximum comfort. In addition, we’ll work as a team do all we can to restore you to the greatest level of function possible.