A spinal cord injury requires immediate medical attention and treatment, as the sooner it's received the greater chance you have of making a full recovery.
Treatment of a spinal cord injury depends largely on the type and extent of the injury. For example, there's a big difference between a bruised spinal cord and a fracture.
To pinpoint your injury and understand the extent, your medical team will order a variety of tests upon arriving at the hospital. These are among the most common:
- CT scan
Through the combination of these test results, your doctor will make a final determination on your treatment plan.
Most people with a spinal cord injury are placed in intensive care for constant monitoring. Furthermore, and depending on your location, you may receive a transfer to a spinal injury center that's staffed with specialists.
Treatment varies, with these options among the most commonly employed:
- Immobilization: Traction may be necessary to stabilize your spine and/or bring it back into alignment. Your injury may call for you to wear a neck collar for an extended period of time.
- Surgery: It's a common myth that surgery is required for every type of spinal cord injury. While it's not always necessary, it's typically suggested if there is compression of the spin, bone fragments in the region or herniated disks.
- Experimental treatments: Medical professionals are working hard to find new ways to treat spinal cord injuries, such as by stopping cell death and promoting the regeneration of nerves. If more traditional treatment options don't yield results, speak to your doctor about clinical trials.
How long does it take to recover?
There is no easy answer to this question, as there's no way of knowing exactly how your body will react to treatment. Your doctor can provide a basic timeline, along with expected results, but it's impossible to know how long it will take or the type of progress you'll make.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident, learn more about the cause and don't wait to file an insurance claim in Virginia or North Carolina. There are steps you can take to hold the negligent driver responsible with the hope of receiving compensation for your injuries and other damages.