Our spine functions as a support pillar to our body: it helps hold our body weight and protect the spinal cord. Both our spine and spinal cords are delicate parts of our body, and damage to either can result in permanent damage or difficulties with strength or sensation.
While patients may think hope is lost after an injury to the spine or spinal cord, treatment is possible. Here’s what you should know:
Is There a Cure For Spinal Cord Injuries?
The most common cause of a spinal cord injury is trauma, such as a fall or sporting injury. At this time, there is no cure for an injury to one’s spinal cord, meaning that your spinal cord will not be able to recover after serious trauma.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Patients may experience different symptoms depending on the location of their injury, and if the injury is incomplete or complete:
- A complete injury means a patient has no function below the level of injury, such as below the neck or waist.
- An incomplete injury means the patient has some remaining function below the area of injury.
Common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include complete loss of muscle function, loss of sensation, and, in the case of upper neck injuries, may include difficulty breathing or the need for a ventilator.
Treatment Plans for Spinal Cord Injuries
Doctors across the world dedicate their lives to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries, but in the meantime have developed standard treatment plans to ease patients’ pain. This may include:
- High doses of steroids.
- Stabilizing the spine to prevent further damage.
- Relieve pressure on the spinal cord through surgery.
A patient may be able to stabilize their spine through the use of a halo machine but may need to receive surgery to remove portions of the vertebrae that compress the damaged spinal cord.
The most important part of treating your spinal cord injury is working alongside your doctor to develop a treatment plan that will provide you with the most comfort. Our spine team at Orthopaedic Specialty Group provides expertise and advanced treatment of common and complex cervical, thoracic, and lumbar disorders.
We take great pride in offering a full continuum of nonsurgical treatments and pain management techniques as well as comprehensive surgical treatments and neurosurgery procedures. To book an appointment, contact us today.