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Does a spinal cord injury always mean permanent paralysis?

People who are in car crashes or slip-and-fall incidents can suffer from serious spinal cord injuries. These injuries can also occur in on-the-job accidents. Regardless of the cause of the injury, the person will likely wonder if they’ll be able to function normally again. 

Paralysis is a concern for many people who have a spinal cord injury. They usually wonder if the paralysis is permanent or temporary. Which one happens depends on the specific circumstances of the case. 

2 types of spinal cord injuries

Doctors divide spinal cord injuries into two types, depending on the function and feeling that a person has below the level of the injury. 

Complete injuries aren’t likely to allow the person to return to their former abilities because there aren’t nerve pathways remaining. They have no feeling or movement below the area of the injury. It’s possible that very limited function might return, but it’s unlikely in many cases. 

Incomplete injuries are more likely to allow the person to return to their previous abilities; however, some loss of function might remain. The person has some feeling and ability to move the area below the injury because at least some (or all) of the nerve pathways remain connected. 

Anyone who has a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another person may opt to pursue a claim for compensation for the expenses related to the injury. This is handled through the civil court system and has strict time limits. Work with someone who’s familiar with these cases so you can learn your options and set your strategy as quickly as possible.