A person who suffers a spinal cord injury has a long road to recovery. For some, the recovery will be complete, and they’ll be able to return to their normal life activities. Others might not be so lucky and may deal with a recovery that leaves them with some disabilities. The first days after the accident can sometimes provide a valuable look into what the ultimate outcome might be.

When the spinal cord is injured, the person will usually suffer from spinal shock. This can make it seem as though the impacts of the injury are worse than what they will be in the future. Part of spinal shock involves the spinal cord and surrounding structures becoming inflamed, which can lead to reduced abilities, functions and sensations in the area that are affected by the damaged area of the spinal cord.

The medical care team that works with a spinal cord injury patient will try to determine whether the injury is a complete or an incomplete one. If the person has sensation and movement below the level of the damage, the injury is incomplete. If there isn’t any, it is a complete injury.

Typically, a person who has an incomplete injury will have a better recovery than those with a complete injury. This is because it is more likely that that healing process will be more thorough. Sometimes, the types of treatments and the speed of the start of therapy have an impact on the healing process. For this reason, many doctors will now start a person with therapy programs quickly after the injury.

Victims of this type of injury also have to think about the financial matters related to the accident. Seeking compensation from the party who caused the incident might be an option to pursue.