Receiving a spinal cord injury has the potential to create life-long issues, depending on how serious the trauma is. Injuries to the spinal cord can be caused by impact in sports, car accidents, injuries while on the job, assault and more. In addition, fragments of metal from a shattering bullet or pieces of bone can lodge into the spinal cord itself, which is the worst kind of injury to have.
It takes a doctor to investigate the injury and determine the quality of life that an individual is going to have, post-trauma. The higher the spinal cord is damaged, as well as the severity of the injury, plays a role in the patient's long-term quality of life. Generally, the higher the spinal cord injury, the less amount of movement the patient is going to have. Also taken into consideration is if the injury is complete or incomplete. A complete injury means there is no sensation in specific areas of the body, whereas incomplete means some sensation and function still exists.
The long-term outlook for someone with a spinal cord injury depends on the severity of the trauma. There are complications that make daily living more difficult. Some of the issues are changes in blood pressure, deep vein thrombosis, contraction of tendons, pain, paralysis of pulmonary muscles, pressure sores and more. Taking care of bodily functions can take upwards of an hour to manage, and bladder catheterization needs to be performed on occasion. A doctor that specializes in these kinds of injuries is the best expert to consult with for more information on what life is going to be like with an impaired spinal cord.
Source:"The spinal cord after injury" The National Spinal Cord Injury Association