Someone who suffers a spinal cord injury could have life-long complications depending on the severity of the injury. Below we outline what someone can expect in regards to long-term care if they have a spinal cord injury.
Surgery could be an option for several spinal cord injuries such as:
Degenerative Disk Disease
Herniated or Ruptured Disks
To correct those injuries, doctors could opt for surgeries such as:
Artificial Disk Replacement
Nucleoplasty (also known as Plasma Disc Decompression)
Spinal Laminectomy or Spinal Decompression
Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty
Your doctor will know if surgery is the best option or some type of physical therapy. If you were to have surgery, you can expect to have physical therapy as part of your recovery.
In-Home Medical Care
If you are unable to get to physical therapy on your own or need assistance at your home because of your injury, then you could be given in-home medical care. Usually, a nurse or aid will come to your home on a schedule (whether that be every day or a few times a week) and will assist with various physical therapy exercises and be available for other help you may need around your home.
If your spinal cord injury has led to you needing a wheelchair, this could impact your living situation, especially if your home is not wheelchair accessible. This could mean that if you own your home, that you make arrangements so it can be wheelchair accessible or you potentially living somewhere else either temporarily or permanently that is wheelchair accessible.
Personal and Professional Adjustments
If you are caring for a spinal cord injury, this could mean that your social life is put on pause and potentially your professional life as well. It may be more difficult to see family or friends if you are having to recover from home. Additionally, you may have to take short-term disability from work if you are unable to continue working while caring for your injury. For some employees, short-term disability isn’t an option and they are forced to quit their jobs.