Spinal injury affects thousands of people across the UK. The spinal injury association assesses as many as 40,000 people in the UK are currently living with SCI.
Below, we highlight some of the most significant statistics and discuss what happens after a person suffers a spinal cord injury, what rehabilitation involves, and how their mobility is affected.

What happens after a spinal cord injury

The trauma of a spinal cord injury affects both mind and body. When a person suffers a spinal cord injury, they are faced with a number of challenges, such as accepting the consequences; which for some means never walking again is a difficult journey. They often struggle with discrimination and find accessing a suitable support and care package difficult.

However, with the right support people with a spinal cord injury can lead fulfilling and independent lives, being able to work, and enjoy a family and social life.

Spinal injury rehabilitation and support

During rehabilitation, the injured person will have contact with a varied team of professionals including consultants, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and psychologists/psychiatrists. They all have a part to play in establishing a rehabilitation plan that suits the injured person's specific situation. The aim is to return the injured person to a fulfilling life.

At Thompsons, we partner with charities and care groups that specialise in supporting patients with spinal cord injuries. Find out more about these charities here.

Are spinal injuries permanent?

Spinal injuries often cause permanent changes to a person’s strength and mobility. The injury is often life-changing, and can lead to psychological distress. Accessing rehabilitation early is key to achieving the best possible outcome.

Can spinal nerve damage be repaired?

The severity of the injury is often classified by the following:-

Complete – if all feeling and ability to control movement is lost below the spinal cord injury the injury is called complete.

Incomplete – if some motor of sensory function exists the injury is called incomplete. There are differing degrees of incomplete injury.

Complete spinal nerve damage is currently irreversible. In some cases, patients are able to recover some of their mobility, however, these cases are rare.

Can a person walk after spinal cord injury?

Most patients with a spinal cord injury will struggle to walk again without the aids of a walker or leg braces. Many will require a wheelchair to help with mobility.

What level of spinal cord injury causes tetraplegia or paraplegia?

Tetraplegia, sometimes referred to as quadriplegia affects arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs. The neck is also affected.

Paraplegia is a form of paralysis caused when the thoracic, lumber or sacral spinal cord are injured. This paralysis affects all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.

Claiming for a spinal injury

If you, or loved one, has suffered a spinal injury as a result of an accident and wish to make a claim, our experienced team of solicitors can support you. Our specialist serious injury solicitors will assess your case and provide immediate advice on accessing help and support for rehabilitation and the legal process.

Contact us today on 0800 0 224 224, or request a callback and one of our solicitors will get back to you.

An infographic on the rate of spinal cord injury in the UK.