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After a spinal cord injury, your life may change drastically

After a spinal cord injury, your life may change drastically

As you were driving home, you were struck by a truck. The truck’s driver was driving under the influence of alcohol. Now that your doctor has told you that you have a spinal cord injury, you may want to know what this means.

Some spinal cord injuries may leave the person with some movement, even though they now get around in a wheelchair. Other people may have no movement, so they may need much more help.

What does “spinal cord injury” mean?

In the accident, the bones in your spinal column were broken so badly that they have injured your spinal cord. Some spinal cord injuries are “incomplete.” This means that you may have some movement in your body. This may be only one side or both sides of your body. With a “complete” spinal cord injury, you may lose all function of your body. Your paralysis may be only in your legs, or it may be in your legs and arms.

You may feel these symptoms:

  • Weak arms or legs
  • Strange lumps on your spine
  • Loss of feeling in your arms or legs
  • Bad pressure or pain in your back or neck
  • Unable to control your bladder or bowel


You may use some special equipment after getting home

After you are discharged from the rehabilitation facility, you may need to use special equipment. Some parts of your house may need to be remodeled. You may use a wheelchair or a motorized wheelchair. You may need a modified van so you are able to get out. You may need a personal care attendant to help with your daily needs. Your home may need to have the doorways widened. You may also have ramps and lower kitchen cabinets.

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