Not many people have more than mere seconds to realize they are about to be involved in a car accident. Even if you were one of those people, you probably didn’t have time to contemplate the outcome. Perhaps all you had time to do was have a fleeting hope that you would survive since no one can predict the injuries that could occur during the impact.
If you remained conscious when your vehicle came to a rest, you may have begun assessing what kind of injuries you suffered. You may have suspected at that point that you suffered from a spinal cord injury because you had no feeling in your legs, but you probably rationalized it as shock. It wasn’t until your doctor told you that you suffered a complete spinal cord injury that you knew the truth. Now, you wonder what happens next.
Could you suffer from spinal shock instead?
Sometimes, it isn’t possible to accurately determine whether a complete spinal cord injury occurred, which is why most New Mexico doctors give a tentative diagnosis because you could actually have suffered from spinal shock. This condition happens in the immediate aftermath of the accident that caused the injury. A sufferer experiences a sudden and unexpected loss of muscle tone and reflexes.
Spinal shock ordinarily lasts anywhere between a few days to about 12 weeks. After this period, doctors will have a better idea of the true nature of your SCI.
If the diagnosis remains a complete SCI
If your doctors confirm that you suffer from a complete SCI, doctors could prescribe one or both of two promising treatments:
- Stem cell treatment remains in its infancy, but has produced promising results. The theory suggests that certain stem cells extracted from bone marrow will multiply indefinitely, which could cause severed spinal cord tissue to begin growing again.
- Doctors could use electrical stimulation and gait training to give you the chance of regaining at least some sensation and motor control over the course of the treatment.
Your condition may require other treatments as well. If you are part of the approximately 31% of SCI patients diagnosed with a complete SCI, you will more than likely need medical and other assistance for the rest of your life. This will affect nearly every aspect of your life, including your finances. If the actions of another person led to your injury, you could pursue compensation that could help relieve the financial burdens associated with your injury.