A recent news story about former hockey player Jack Jablonski making progress following his injury and subsequent paralysis has people talking about spinal cord injuries. Jablonski was himself the victim of a spinal cord injury seven years ago an injury that left him unable to move his body from the chest down. However, he has stated that he has since regained the ability to move three of his toes on one of his feet, and he considers it good progress. But is this a common feat among people who are paralyzed by an injury to the spinal column?
Not all spinal column injury cases show promise for recovery
Unfortunately, not all people who suffer a spinal injury can expect to recover control of their bodies. While his story does offer hope for some people living with paralysis, Jablonski’s renewed ability to wiggle his toes is not the norm for people who are paralyzed by having their back or neck severely injured. According to data released by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, at least 16,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries each year in the United States, and of those, less than 1 percent will fully recover by the time they are discharged from the hospital.
Spinal cord injury changes the lives of victims and families
Spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, whether total or partial, have a strong impact on the lives of those they afflict and their loved ones. Adjusting to a new life requiring use of a wheelchair or walker could mean rearranging or even remodeling the home to make room, and the emotional trauma that accompanies the physical trauma of such an adjustment can take its toll on the injured person and those close to them.
Lifelong medical care and physical therapy may be required for victims
People who become paraplegic or quadriplegic as a result of a spinal cord injury may require lifelong medical care and physical therapy sessions. These visits to the neurologist or physical therapist, while immensely helpful, can also become immensely expensive and if the injured person is no longer able to work, he or she may end up with a pile of bills and no way to pay them.
Average length of time in rehab is down
Since the 1970s, the average length of time a person with spinal cord injury spends in a rehab facility is down by almost one-third, but is this good news or bad news? It is possible that a lengthier stay in rehab could be beneficial to victims, but that new medical insurance policies are forcing spinal injury victims out of rehab before they are ready to leave.
Legal options for spinal cord injury victims and their families
If you or someone close to you has suffered a catastrophic injury, consider speaking with a Santa Clarita spinal cord injury attorney to find out more about what options are available to you under the law. The experienced legal professionals at Compass Law Group, LLP can help guide you through the challenges of the legal system and get you the financial compensation you deserve.