Car accidents may seem like the most likely culprit of spinal cord injuries, but even a bad fall down a slippery set of stairs may be enough to cause one. SCIs cause a number of complications in a person’s life and may range from minor nerve damage to full-blown paralysis.
Since medical science currently has no cure, it all comes down to careful surgery and determined rehabilitation to get a person used to his or her new normal.
The phases of SCI recovery
According to Medical News Today, around 17,000 SCIs occur in the United States each year. The first days of a spinal cord injury are often the most important, since any aggravation of the damage may make full recovery even less likely. Doctors attempt to keep a person’s airways clear, heart beating and body still with a cervical collar. This process is to help reduce complications as well.
Once initial recovery is over, experts work with the patient to draft a long-term care plan based on their needs. This may involve being bedridden at home with regular hours of physical therapy. In many other cases, it means living at a subacute rehabilitation facility. Recovery involves many checkups in the first year and rehabilitation often continues years down the line.
The costs of SCI recovery
As expected, extended stays at the hospital and hours of physical therapy cost a lot. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, first-year costs may range as high as $1.1 million with subsequent years averaging as high as $200,000.
Anyone who suffers an SCI because of negligence on the road, on the job or on-site should not have to shoulder the catastrophic costs of that accident without assistance or compensation.