When a person suffers a spinal cord injury, there is a chance that they won’t have a full recovery, which is why this type of injury is classified as catastrophic. There are many factors that determine the extent of the recovery the person might experience.
One reason why these injuries are so serious is that some cells within the central nervous system don’t divide to create new cells because they are so specialized. This impacts the connections that occur between the spinal cord and the brain. Without proper connections, there is usually a breakdown in physical functioning. The brain simply can’t command the body’s movements any longer.
An injury to the spinal cord impacts the area below the area of the injury, so injuries closer to the neck will cause more issues than those closer to the lower back. The doctors who evaluate the patient will look at what abilities and sensations are present below the injury in order to classify the injury as complete or incomplete.
A complete injury is one that isn’t associated with any feeling or movement below the injury. An incomplete injury will have some (albeit limited) movement or feeling below the damaged area. Typically, incomplete injuries will heal better than those that are complete.
Injuries to the spinal cord can lead to considerable medical care, especially in the early days. The person may also need extensive therapy and possibly personal care in the future. This adds even more to the cost of the injury. A person who’s facing this because of a wreck that was the result of another person’s negligence should always consider pursuing a claim for compensation to try to recover damages in order to better fund their recovery.