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Young people, vehicle crashes and spinal cord injuries

There are many causes of spinal cord injuries, but the most common is a motor vehicle crash; a young person is often the victim.

There are two kinds of spinal cord injuries, and immediate treatment is essential for both. If you should suffer such an injury, what are your expectations for recovery?

About SCI

The spinal cord has nerves that carry impulses from the brain to other parts of the body. Because vertebrae surround it, a spinal cord can sustain injury either from direct trauma or because the surrounding bones and soft tissues suffer damage. A spinal cord injury, or SCI, happens to about 12,500 people each year in the United States. Motor vehicle accidents are responsible for about 47% of all SCI cases, followed by falls at 21%.

The two forms

A spinal cord injury will cause loss of function in two ways: complete and incomplete, with the latter being the most common. With complete SCI, the patient loses all ability to feel and move below the site of the injury. However, with the incomplete form, some functionality remains a possibility.

Getting treatment

Immediate treatment is critical to forestall life-threatening issues or lifelong complications. Medical teams often use corticosteroid drugs to reduce swelling, and more serious injuries may require surgery. Many patients undergo physical or occupational therapy. Currently, there is no cure for a spinal cord injury, although progress in treating the condition, especially right after the injury has occurred, has served to reduce the extent of damage.

Looking ahead

Most spinal cord injuries happen to younger men between the ages of 16 and 42, which means that there may be years of rehabilitation ahead. Within that time, researchers may, at last, find a cure for SCI. Meanwhile, if you suffer a spinal cord injury as the victim of a car crash, you should only have to focus on your health and well-being. Meanwhile, you can rely on the help of an advocate who understands what you are going through and will negotiate full and fair insurance compensation on your behalf.

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