In the United States, there are at least 265,000 individuals living with spinal cord injuries and, every year, there are between 11,000 and 12,500 new cases every year. There are several different kinds of spinal cord injuries, including quadriplegia, tetraplegia, and paraplegia, all of which can have a severe and life-altering impact on an individual, requiring lifelong medical care, assistance, and extensive physical therapy. Oftentimes, these injuries are caused by automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls, and even acts of violence, such as gunshot wounds.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
- Quadriplegia: Loss of movement and sensation in all four limbs
- Tetraplegia: Loss of movement and sensation in one arm and both legs
- Paraplegia: Loss of movement and sensation in the lower half of the body
What Happens Next?
After sustaining a spinal cord injury, you will be tested to observe how you respond to pinpricks and light touching all over your body. You will also be asked to move various parts of your body to test the strength of your muscles. The purpose of these tests is to help your doctor understand how severe the injury is and how likely it might be for you to regain some feeling and movement.
Once the severity of your spinal cord injury has been assessed, you will begin rehabilitation, the goal of which is to help you be as independent as possible. However, what an individual is able to accomplish during this process is entirely dependent on the severity of the injury. Your rehabilitation team will assist you in learning how to:
- Avoid issues like pressure injuries and knowing when it is necessary to call your doctor
- Exercise to maintain muscle strength and flexibility
- Eat a balanced diet that helps you stay healthy and allows you to manage your weight
- Do tasks you once accomplished on your own without thinking about, such as managing your bladder and bowel
- Using a wheelchair or other device that can help you do the things you enjoy
Adjusting to Life After a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are catastrophic and will take some time and effort to adjust to. With effective rehabilitation, many individuals with these injuries are able to work, drive, and have relationships and families. Having a rehabilitation team is a key element in leading a fulfilling life and, with their support, training, and resources, you can set new goals for yourself.
Of course, it is only natural to feel sad or angry at times. To avoid letting these feelings weigh you down, try to express them and talk about them with your friends and family, or a support group. Many find it very helpful to talk about their hardships with others who are also suffering from spinal cord injuries. If you are experiencing ongoing pain or depression, tell your doctor. He or she will be able to prescribe medication or recommend treatments that can help.
Catastrophic Injury Attorneys in Atlanta
If you sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of another party’s negligence, you need an attorney on your side to help you obtain the compensation you deserve to cover the costly long-term medical expenses you will face throughout your lifetime. At Pratt Clay, LLC, our Atlanta catastrophic injury attorneys have the experience and skill required to effectively represent you. Backed by a track record of success, our firm provides clients with small firm attention and large firm results.