Coping With Long-term Spinal Injury Effects
Living with the Costs and Long Term Effects of a Spinal Injury
Spinal injuries are among some of the most common personal injuries one can receive from car accidents to construction equipment. With these injuries come immense expense required to treat the damage not only in the immediate moment of injury but also throughout a patient's life. The nature of these injuries typically require a long term plan of care and recuperation from the physical and emotional aspect of the spinal injury.
Common Spinal Injuries
These are the most common spinal injuries that affect people today. Each one has the potential to cause lifelong pain and need for recurring treatment.
Herniated and Ruptured Disk Injuries
The human spine is made up of several bony casings that hold and protect the spinal column called, vertebrae. Between each of these vertebrae are small rubbery disks that keep the vertebrae from chafing against each other. In certain accidents, theses disks can tear, shift, or rupture. This would be called a herniated or ruptured disk injury.
The symptoms of this kind of injury typically include pain and numbness that can spread to certain parts of the body. Surgery is sometimes required to treat the damage to the disks in serious cases which means an amount of time spent recuperating and out of commission.
Spinal Fractures and Spondylolisthesis
In an event such as a car accident, the spine can receive a compression fracture also known as a spinal fracture. The spine can even have a vertebrae become fractured and then shift to put pressure on the spinal column in what is called Spondylolisthesis. The symptoms can include pain that spreads to different points of the body and issues with bladder control.
The treatment of these kinds of injuries requires surgery, possible immobilization of the spine, and intensive physical therapy.
One of the most common of spinal injuries that is frequently received from car accidents is whiplash. While usually associated with the neck, whiplash can affect the spine due to the immense amount of forces at play affecting the neck and vertebrae attached.
In fact, some victims of whiplash experience what is called chronic whiplash where they experience recurring intense pain. Victims of chronic whiplash usually are forced to cope with this kind of pain over the whole course of their life.
Facet Joint Injuries
Facet joints found in the spine act as hinges between each of the vertebrae. When they are injured, victims require a series of chiropractic care, dry needling, ablation procedures, and physical therapy.
While spinal stenosis is not caused by things like car accidents or construction injuries, it can be worsened by these since an injury can cause it become symptomatic. Spinal Stenosis is a deterioration of the spine and stress of pressure can easily cause intense aggravation of the spine resulting in pain and inflammation.
Injury Directly to the Spinal Cord
Injuries to the spinal cord have the potential to be the most devastating of all spinal injuries. This is due to the fact that the spine itself can be repaired. There is still no way to repair the bundle of nerves that the spinal cord protects.
All victims of a spinal cord injury can do is are left to hope that their injury will not be too severe once the inflammation goes down. Ultimately, victims of an injury to the spinal cord have the most intense lifelong consequences with regard to their injury. There is very little to be done and spinal cord injuries can easily render someone paralyzed.
The Continual Cost of Spinal Injuries
Financial Costs of Spinal Injuries
Of all injuries, the most costly over time is the spinal cord injury. Not only is the immediate treatment costly but over time the financial drain begins to accumulate.
The cost of treatment will actually begin to increase after the first year. Immediate treatment can go up to one million dollars and every year after that, about 185,000. Even injuries other than the spinal cord variety can cost a great deal from just physical therapy and continual checkups to ensure that the injury has not relapsed or worsened.
Even minor injuries that will have seem completely fixed have the potential to flare up again under certain circumstances. There is a large risk of complication with spinal injuries in case of a repeat of trauma to the spine.
Mental and Emotional Costs of Spinal Injuries
On top of financial costs, there are mental and emotional costs as well. Damage to one's spine often results in a lack of mobility and ability to perform one's job or engage in certain beloved activities. It is not uncommon for a certain amount of depression to occur with someone who has experienced a debilitating spinal injury.
There is also the pain. As we grow older our bodies begin to set in certain ways that exasperate previous injuries and worsen or bring back pains from things like spinal injuries
Recovery From a Spinal Injury
Making a steady recovery from any serious injury requires a great deal of rest, treatment, and therapy. In the case of spinal injuries, there is an even greater emphasis on these aspects of recovery.
It is important to maintain a good regiment of physical therapy as recommended by your doctor. Remember that gentle strengthening and stretching exercises can help you regain range of motion, improve flexibility, and build the surrounding muscles to support your spine. Often times, physical therapy is what can seem to provide the most relief from any injury, let alone those of the spinal variety.
Adhere to Your Physician's Guidelines of Recovery
Your doctor will know best when it comes to your injury so do not deviate from the recovery plans they have laid out. Despite what you might feel, the long term of plans laid out by your physician for recovery are constructed specifically for your recovery. Deviation can result in all kinds of relapses and worsening of injuries.
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal injury and believe you are entitled to make a claim, do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for legal consultation. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in making sure that the responsible parties are held accountable and that you receive proper compensation for any damages.
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