Can You Recover from a Spinal Cord Injury?

The nerve cells along the spinal cord are complex and delicate, which is why most spinal cord injuries are severe and permanent. However, that does not mean people have not recovered fully after an injury to the spine. Proper treatment backed up with therapy can help a person recover to a certain degree, depending on the severity of the damage. If you or your loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury that you believe has been caused by another person, it is crucial to seek compensation for spinal cord injury. This is because treating a spinal cord injury is expensive, and full recovery is rare. However, it is possible to recover from a spinal cord injury based on various factors. Check out the information below to understand more about recovering after an injury to the spinal cord.

Factors Affecting Recovery After a Spinal Cord Injury

The severity of the injury is the main factor determining whether you recover after a spinal cord injury. The injuries are categorized from A (complete spinal cord injury) to E (normal injury). All the injuries in the A category rarely heal; in most cases, patients lose their motor and sensory functions. That means they are permanently incapacitated. Patients in the other types will likely recover or improve with treatment and therapy.

Another factor that determines recovery is the treatment received. If you do not get immediate treatment after the injury, it might have a long-term effect on your mobility and health, and the chances of recovering are slim. Therefore, recovering from the damage cannot be predicted. However, understanding treatment and more research may help doctors provide the best care.

The Stages of Recovery 

There are two main stages of spinal cord injury. Let us discuss them in detail.

  • Stage 1

This stage is the first immediately after you get the injury. It means you will spend some time in the hospital in critical care or need surgery. The doctor will first check if you are breathing properly. They will then test your movement and whether your arms and legs are still sensitive. The physician will then work on reducing complications, and you may spend several days in the hospital.

After you have stabilized, you might be discharged from the hospital for long-term care. Your caregiver must create a workable plan to manage the symptoms and improve your recovery.

  • Stage 2

The second stage of recovering from a spinal cord injury focuses on rehabilitation, including occupational and physical therapy and sometimes counseling. You will need at least three hours a day for rehab and regular checkups from the doctor. It is possible to recover some functions after 18 months after the injury. However, full recovery can take years as long as your injury is not in the A category.

Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injury patients require long-term treatment depending on the location and severity of the injury. Doctors will help with therapy and prevent conditions like chronic pain, muscle spasms, pressure ulcers, pneumonia, and other conditions related to spinal cord injuries. So treatment may include surgery, therapy and rehabilitation, and counseling.


Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering, and coping with them is difficult. Furthermore, recovery depends on the severity and location of the damage. Therefore, getting support from friends, family members, and medical practitioners is crucial.

About Terry J. Patterson

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