If you or someone you love has been in a car wreck, you know how quickly life can change. Damage to your vehicle is inconvenient, but minor injuries can cause major ripples in many areas of your life. Some accidents result in serious injuries which can affect your family and your job.
Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious types of injuries, in part because of the possible long-term consequences. If your accident resulted in a back injury, you may need help getting the care you need. You likely received some degree of medical attention at the scene, but you may still have concerns and questions.
Is the emergency care enough?
Immediate care provided at the time of the crash may not reveal all your injuries. See your general practitioner as soon as you can. Someone who knows your medical history may be able to identify problems that the paramedics missed. The spinal cord is intricate, so you may need to see a specialist for a thorough examination.
Could I have hidden injuries?
Not all ailments are apparent immediately following an accident. Some issues can arise days or weeks after the wreck. Symptoms of spinal cord injury include pain, numbness, weakness, muscle spasms, loss of bladder control and difficulty breathing. It is essential that you get proper medical care as soon as possible. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can affect your recovery.
What will I need in the future?
Life after a spinal cord injury will involve some challenges. Prognosis depends on the extent of the injury, and where along the spinal cord the injury occurred. You may require several surgeries. You will likely need multiple medical treatments including physical and occupational therapy.
You may need to make changes to your home and vehicle to accommodate your new mobility needs. During recovery, you may be away from your job for an extended period of time, or you may need to switch to a different field altogether. There will be challenges, but with the proper support, you should be able to live a full, happy life.