Suppose that you are a long-time construction worker. You have had few injuries, but when you fell off a ladder and suffered damage to your spinal cord, you began looking at life in a new light.
A spinal cord injury can dramatically change your life. Treatment is often a long, slow process and extremely expensive. You will need help to cover the costs both now and in the future.
A sudden blow to the spine is the usual cause of a spinal cord injury, or SCI. Nerves that transmit impulses, or messages, from your brain to other parts of your body compose the spinal cord. It is delicate and, unfortunately, not able to repair itself if damaged.
A complete spinal cord injury is one in which you lose the ability to feel altogether below the level of the injury, whereas with an incomplete SCI, some functioning below the site of the injury is still possible. Although the loss of mobility may be an immediate sign of a spinal cord injury, other symptoms, such as pain, difficulty breathing or the onset of digestive problems, may not appear immediately or could signal a different condition altogether. This is why you should seek prompt medical attention. Diagnostic tests are common in evaluating symptoms. These could include a CT scan, an MRI, spine X-rays or a myelogram.
Presently, there is no way to reverse spinal cord damage, although research is ongoing. Depending on the extent of the injury, treatment can include medications and prostheses to improve nerve function and help with nerve cell regeneration. Electrical stimulation of nerves can also help to restore functions like breathing and limb movement.
If your spinal cord injury results from a fall sustained while working at the job site, you are eligible to file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits. Do not hesitate to seek the help of an advocate who can ensure that there are no missteps in filing your claim. You deserve just compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and more.