Spinal cord injuries can be very serious, and because the spinal cord carries nerve impulses to and from all the different parts of the body, these types of injuries can affect much more than just the spine. Spinal cord injuries can cause everything from problems with the senses all the way to complete paralysis. Because of the complexity and severity of these types of injuries, the rehabilitation process is often slow, long and costly.
Spinal cord rehabilitation generally happens in phases and is designed in such a way as to help the victim gain as much previous function and quality of life as possible. Rehab programs must be tailored to the specific type of injury and work to restore the damaged pathways. In the initial rehabilitation phase, victims and their medical teams work together to assess the practical effects of the injury and how the victim's life has been changed as a result.
Often, a victim will recover a certain level of movement or functionality and then plateau, and it is at this point that the medical team must work to understand what injuries are permanent and what may be improved through ongoing treatment. Once the initial rehabilitation phase has passed, victims continue with their therapy programs, often for life, adjusting as needed if there are improvements or backslides.
Understanding the extent of a serious and possibly lifelong injury is the first step in determining whether a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party is a possibility. Depending on the effect the injury has had on the victim's motor and cognitive skills and quality of life, the Arizona courts may award compensation for medical expenses, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering.
Source: United States Department of Veterans Affairs, "The Process of Rehabilitation" Nov. 16, 2014
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