Annually, around 17,000 individuals in the United States suffer a spinal cord injury. Each year, spinal cord injuries cost around $9.7 billion. Many of these cases involve males, and the largest age group for new injuries is 16 to 30 years old. Overall, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of these injuries in younger individuals.
Complete versus incomplete injuries
There are two types of spinal cord injuries that individuals might have to deal with. These are complete or incomplete, both of which are a gauge of how serious the damage is. A complete injury occurs when there isn’t any feeling or sensation below the level of the injury. An incomplete injury occurs if the person can feel anything or move the area below the injury.
Almost half of all spinal cord injuries are complete. Unfortunately, this is often bad news for the individual who suffered it. Complete injuries are typically permanent and aren’t associated with remarkable recoveries, but there is a better chance of recovery for a patient who has an incomplete injury.
Spinal shock is possible
One thing that some people need to remember is that there’s also the possibility that spinal shock will occur at the time of the injury. This makes the injury seem worse than it truly is because of the inflammation and swelling that’s occurring.
It’s imperative for anyone who has a spinal cord injury to ensure they get swift medical care. This can help to reduce the severity of the injury because the medical staff can take steps to protect the spinal cord. For some people, a spinal cord injury is a costly event. When the injury is due to someone else’s negligence, the individual may opt to pursue a claim for compensation.