What happens when the spinal cord is damaged?
Injuries to the spinal cord can cause weakness or complete loss of muscle function and loss of sensation in the body below the level of injury, loss of control of the bowels and bladder, and loss of normal sexual function.
How can spinal cord injuries affect a patient’s life?
But a spinal cord injury (SCI) may affect some of the muscles needed for breathing. This makes it hard to breathe, cough, and bring up mucus from the lungs, which leads to a greater risk of lung infections such as pneumonia.
Can a damaged spinal cord be repaired?
Damage to the spinal cord rarely heals because the injured nerve cells fail to regenerate. The regrowth of their long nerve fibers is hindered by scar tissue and molecular processes inside the nerves.
Does a spinal cord injury shorten your life?
Life expectancy depends on the severity of the injury, where on the spine the injury occurs and age. Life expectancy after injury ranges from 1.5 years for a ventilator-dependent patient older than 60 to 52.6 years for a 20-year-old patient with preserved motor function.
What are the symptoms of spinal cord problem?
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Disorder
- Weakness or paralysis of limbs.
- Loss of sensation.
- Changes in reflexes.
- Loss of urinary or bowel control.
- Uncontrolled muscle spasms.
- Back pain.
How do you treat spinal nerve damage?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord. But researchers are continually working on new treatments, including prostheses and medications, that might promote nerve cell regeneration or improve the function of the nerves that remain after a spinal cord injury.
Can you walk again after a spinal cord injury?
The time period a patient needs to rehabilitate depends on the patient’s injury and ability to heal. Some patients can take a few weeks to regain the ability to walk, while others take several months or longer.