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How are spinal cord injuries treated?

Spinal cord injuries are treated in various ways depending on the severity, but the first step in treatment is to make sure that the extent of the injury is clear. If the patient isn't breathing or if the heart has stopped, there may need to be special devices inserted into the body to help those functions work normally. For example, a spinal cord injury in the neck may cause a person to stop breathing on his or her own, so a breathing tube may need to be used.

Next, if you've suffered a spinal cord injury, you'll be immobilized. This generally happens right before you're taken from the scene of an accident and en-route to the hospital. You may be placed into a cervical collar or onto a backboard, both of which help stabilize the spine.

Once you get to the hospital, the spinal cord injury will be diagnosed. It may be minor or severe. Initially, you may have to take steroids, which help reduce swelling. These medications can help reduce the injury to the spinal cord by reducing the pressure on the region.

In some cases, the next step will be to go to surgery. The first goal of any spinal cord surgery is to help the patient by relieving pressure on the injury. If the spine, for instance, has collapsed onto the spinal cord, it may carefully be restructured. The second goal of surgery is always to stabilize the spine, so that could include adding plates or rods to it to secure it into position until the bones heal back into place properly.

As you can tell, there are many steps to repairing a spinal column after injury, and you could be permanently injured even with medical help. After you suffer an accident that results in an injury to your spinal cord, you may want to seek compensation from the person responsible. An attorney can provide more information about your options and how you can make a claim to cover your medical costs and other needs.

Source: Medicine Net, "Spinal Cord Injury," accessed Sep. 10, 2015

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