In the United States, there are about 17,000 spinal cord injuries every year. Most people who have an SCI lose some bodily function and experience some paralysis. Nerve signals cannot travel through the spinal cord of someone who has a complete injury. However, if you have an incomplete injury, the brain can still get some signals through the spinal cord.
According to Medical News Today, full recovery for an SCI is rare.
How doctors plan your recovery
Planning your recovery is complex. The doctor will have to grade the severity of your injury. He or she uses the American Injury Association grading scale. In this scale, an A denotes a complete injury and an E means that the damage does not affect your muscle function or sensory function.
He or she plans the first stage of recovery to be initial treatments and diagnostic tests. Your second stage of healing involves rehabilitation and counseling.
How doctors treat SCIs
Your SCI treatment depends on the severity of your injury and location. You may be at risk of having secondary health conditions. These conditions include chronic pain, muscle spasms, respiratory infections and pressure ulcers. Doctors have to prevent and treat these conditions also.
During your first stage of treatment, doctors will stabilize the spine and do any diagnostic tests and emergency operations. You will have regular checkups, physical therapy and possibly more surgeries. On a long-term basis, you may need continuous rehabilitation. You may also require treatment for any of the complications that arise.
Often patients have a team of doctors and medical professionals to support them.