A spinal cord injury may cause circulatory problems ranging from low blood pressure when you rise (orthostatic hypotension) to swelling of your extremities. These circulation changes may also increase your risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolus.
How does spinal cord injury affect the body?
Spinal cord injuries can be complete or incomplete (partial): Complete: A complete injury causes total paralysis (loss of function) below the level of the injury. It affects both sides of the body. A complete injury may cause paralysis of all four limbs (quadriplegia) or the lower half of the body (paraplegia).
Can you die from a damaged spinal cord?
Overall, 85% of people with spinal cord injury who survive the first 24 hours are still alive 10 years later. The most common cause of death is due to diseases of the respiratory system, with most of these being due to pneumonia.
Does a spinal cord injury shorten your life?
Life expectancy depends on the severity of the injury, where on the spine the injury occurs and age. Life expectancy after injury ranges from 1.5 years for a ventilator-dependent patient older than 60 to 52.6 years for a 20-year-old patient with preserved motor function.
What is the life expectancy of someone with a spinal cord injury?
Individuals aged 60 years at the time of injury have a life expectancy of approximately 7.7 years (patients with high tetraplegia), 9.9 years (patients with low tetraplegia), and 12.8 years (patients with paraplegia).
What is the leading cause of death in spinal cord injury?
Overall, the leading cause of death was pneumonia, followed by other subsequent unintentional injuries and suicides. The highest ratios of actual to expected deaths were for septicemia, pulmonary emboli, and pneumonia.
Is a spinal cord injury a disability?
Anyone with a spinal cord injury can file a claim for Social Security disability benefits as long as the injury has lasted at least three months and is expected to make it impossible for you to work for at least 12 months.
Is there any hope for spinal cord injury?
And while there is currently no cure for spinal cord injury, patients typically engage in exercise therapy to improve motor function. Some previous research have shown that implanting a stimulator to deliver electric current to a damaged spinal cord could help paralyzed patients regain mobility.
Does paraplegia reduce life expectancy?
It is evident that although there have been improvements in survival and life expectancy over time, most notably in the group with paraplegia in comparison to 10 years ago, mortality rates after SCI remain elevated with life expectancy most significantly reduced in those persons with higher level, more severe …
Can a spinal cord injury get worse?
It usually gets worse with movement and better with rest. Upper limb (shoulder, elbow and hand) pain is often caused by overuse of the muscles from doing transfers and pressure relief maneuvers and from pushing a wheelchair. It can occur months or many years after injury.