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The devastating impact of a spinal cord injury

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Personal Injury

Depending on numerous factors, a motor vehicle collision might lead to severe spinal cord damage to vehicle occupants. The type of damage can result in several life-changing injuries. Most often, these injuries will require surgery in an effort to repair the damage.

An injury to the spinal cord can often result in the loss of function or loss of sensation to various body parts. Depending on the position of the injury and the type of damage, the victim might struggle with paralysis. Hemiplegia, paraplegia and quadriplegia can all impact different extremities as well as the internal organs. The damage could be temporary or permanent, partial or total. Some individuals might rely on a series of surgeries to correct the damage caused by the vehicle collision. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, spinal surgery occurs in a few different forms, including diskectomies, foraminotomies, laminectomies, and spinal fusions. How can you handle the recovery process?

Recovery time

Your recovery time depends on the spinal surgery. A diskectomy does not take as much time. You may feel pain, weakness and numbness, but the symptoms improve in a few weeks.

Laminectomies and fusion surgeries take about three to four months for the bones to heal. Likewise, spinal surgery takes about four to six weeks to return to work, but longer, depending on the extent of the operation.


You may lose your bandages within a week to 10 days. During recovery, you may feel some pain or numbness around your incision. While a little redness does not indicate a problem, deeper redness and swelling do indicate a problem. You should not feel warmth or see any extra fluid draining.

Most surgeons recommend keeping your incision dry for five to seven days and covering the incision with plastic wrap if you need to shower.

Post-surgery activity

Your doctor may provide you with instructions on how to handle activity following surgery. After surgery, you should not sit for longer than 20 to 30 minutes and when you sleep, do not do so in any position that encourages back pain. Some patients may need to use a brace or corset for sitting or walking.

A motor vehicle collision often results in catastrophic injuries including brain trauma, spinal cord damage, paralysis, amputation or crush injuries. Based on the severity of the injury, individuals will likely struggle with medical debt related to treatment, surgery, hospital stay and physical therapy. These devastating injuries often lead to financial peril. After a severe motor vehicle collision, it is wise to explore your options for monetary compensation through a personal injury claim.