Any Pennsylvania resident who has suffered a spinal cord injury knows the pain and lifestyle changes that this type of injury can cause. Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent changes to the way the body functions, and there are many complications that may arise. There is not yet a way for doctors to repair spinal cord injuries, but treatment and rehabilitation can help.
An injury to the spinal cord can damage the nerves that send sensations throughout the body. A serious injury to the spinal cord can cause loss of sensation or even paralysis. However, serious spinal cord injuries are not always obvious right away. If not detected, a spinal cord injury could get worse. Medical professionals often assume that a victim of head trauma has a spinal cord injury until they can prove otherwise.
In some cases, a patient might still have some sensation and freedom of movement below the injury. This is called an incomplete spinal cord injury. Complications may arise that affect various parts of the body. Bladder and bowel control can change because the nerves that send signals to and from the brain have been damaged by the injury. Involuntary bodily functions like blood circulation and breathing can also be affected. Patients with a spinal cord injury could develop breathing problems or changes in blood pressure.
Pain, loss of skin sensation, changes in muscle tone and changes in sexual function and health might also be experienced after a spinal cord injury. Loss of motor function could lead to less physical activity and possible weight gain. Patients might also experience depression after such a life-altering injury.
After an accident, an injured person may receive a settlement offer from an insurance company. In the case of a spinal cord injury, worsening of symptoms or future complications might cause more pain and suffering and cause medical bills to rise. An initial settlement may not be adequate, but if a personal injury claim is filed, the possibility of future financial and personal concerns might be addressed.