Being injured in a Florida car crash could require a long recovery period. That is prolonged and complicated if the recovery involves rehabilitation due to neurological injuries to the head or spinal cord.
What are spinal cord injuries?
Spinal cord injuries involve damage to the cells that transmit signals to and from the brain via a complex network of nerves that run along the spine. These injuries are far more complicated than the typical back injury because they involve nerve damage that could result in some degree of paralysis.
Back injuries involve damage to the spinal column that, while painful and debilitating, won’t usually result in loss of feeling or ability to walk.
Types of spinal cord injury
There are two types of spinal cord injury, complete and incomplete. The first results in permanent damage and para- or tetraplegia. An incomplete injury to the spinal cord result in varying degrees of loss of feeling an motion.
The prognosis for recovery depends on the patient’s general health and medical condition as well as the level and location of neurological damage.
There are four general categories of injury to the spine:
- Cervical, which is considered the most severe level. This injury is due to head or neck trauma and involves the region above the shoulders.
- Thoracic, which is an injury to the chest or mid-back area and impacts arm and hand function
- Lumbar injuries, which are injuries to the lower back and affect the ability to walk. Sufferers may be bound to a wheelchair or rely on braces to walk.
- Sacral spinal injuries, which are located in the hip and buttock region. Although those injury may need assistance to walk, this injury has the best prognosis.
New hope for recovery
Of the spinal cord injuries from motor vehicle accidents, almost half are considered severe. However, new hope may be on the horizon in the form of clinical trials for a new treatment called neuro-spinal scaffolding.
This treatment deals with injuries to the thoracic region and involves injecting a biopolymer device into the spine that is absorbed into the body. Six months into the trail, and participants report the return of some feeling in previously paralyzed limbs.