Spinal Cord Injury Treatment and Rehabilitation in the United States

Spinal cord injury is a traumatic and disabling condition caused by trauma to the spinal cord. It can affect any age group and cause varying degrees of disability. Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition that results in loss of physical function below the level of the injury. The estimated annual incidence of SCI is 6 per million population. The prevalence of SCI is 8 in every one million people. Many people live in pain and disability, while others can return to some level of independence. This paper presents an overview of the current state of care for SCI in the United States, including the costs of treatment and available resources for SCI rehabilitation.

In this paper, we present a review of the current state of care for spinal cord injury in the United States. We focus on the health care system, treatment options, and rehabilitation. We discuss the treatment of traumatic spinal cord injuries, which result in paralysis and the need for intensive repair. We also discuss the long-term outcomes for persons with spinal cord injury, including functional limitations, quality of life, and mortality. The United States has some of the world’s most advanced spinal cord injury treatment and rehabilitation facilities. As many as 40% of Americans who have a spinal cord injury are discharged home with no physical therapy at all, and only 20% of Americans who have a spinal cord injury receive high-level physical therapy, compared to 80% and 90% of people with traumatic brain injury in the U.S. and U.K., respectively.

What is a spinal cord injury?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is an injury to the spinal cord that results in loss of physical function below the level of the damage. The most common causes of SCI include motor vehicle accidents, falls, and violence. Injuries to the cervical spine are particularly devastating since they frequently lead to quadriplegia. An estimated 3,000 new cases are reported annually in the United States, although estimates of the actual number of injuries are likely higher. An estimated $5 billion is spent each year in the United States on medical expenses related to SCI.

How does a spinal cord injury occur?

A spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal column is damaged, resulting in the loss of motor and sensory function. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, nearly 5,000 people sustain a new spinal cord injury yearly. Spinal cord injuries are classified into three categories based on the level of the injury and the type of damage supported. These include cervical, thoracic, and lumbar injuries. A spinal cord injury can occur to anyone, regardless of age, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. The most common causes of spinal cord injury are falls, automobile accidents, sports injuries, and violence.

How do you treat a spinal cord injury?

Many people who suffer from spinal cord injuries find themselves left with paralysis, weakness, and numbness. While some people are lucky enough to recover some level of independence, others will be left with lifelong disabilities. The goal of SCI treatment is to return someone to the highest possible level of independence and quality of life. Treatment for SCI varies based on several factors, including the type of injury, the severity, and the cause. While some treatments may only help to minimize symptoms, others can significantly affect overall recovery. In some cases, medical interventions can even prevent secondary injuries that may occur during an injury.

How long will a spinal cord injury last?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SCIs can last from days to decades. The median length of stay in acute care is 18.1 days, with the average size of stay at 6.4 days. While the average stay in critical care is shorter than other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, the long-term costs of caring for an injured person are higher. The average price of an individual with an SCI is $7,000 per year.

How does spinal cord injury affect the body?

Spinal cord injury affects the entire body. The spinal cord connects the brain to the rest of the body, so anything that affects the brain also affects the body. A spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord is damaged by trauma or disease, usually resulting in paralysis. The damage is usually complete, meaning no nerve function is left below the injury. However, some cases of spinal cord injury are incomplete, meaning some nerve function remains below the damage. For example, when the spinal cord is severed, but some nerves remain intact, a person can still feel sensations and may be able to move a little. The spinal cord is severed in other cases, but some nerves remain intact. In this case, the person will have feelings but only limited movement. In some cases, the spinal cord is injured but not severed, so there is still some nerve function below the injury. The extent of this nerve function varies from patient to patient.

Frequently asked questions about spinal cord injury

Q: What’s it like to live with a spinal cord injury?

A: When you have an injury like mine, you must learn to walk again. I use a wheelchair, but I must know how to walk again. That’s my goal every day.

Q: How did you become paralyzed?

A: I was sitting in a car accident. I had surgery on my spine, and I was paralyzed.

Q: Who helps you the most?

A: My family, my best friend, and my mom. She always tells me I can do anything.

Q: What do you want to do when you’re older?

A: I want to be a pediatrician.

Q: What’s something people would never guess about you?

A: I am a very shy person. I don’t even go out alone.

Myths about spinal cord injury

1. Spinal cord injury cannot be healed or made better.

2. All spinal cord injuries are the same.

3. Spinal cord injury will not affect your other health.


There are a lot of great resources out there to help people who a spinal cord injury has injured. But I’m not sure how many resources are available to you in your local area. I’m guessing the answer is “not many.” That’s why it’s important to make an effort to find information about your local community and figure out what your options are. This can be tough to do, especially with a big-ticket issue like a spinal cord injury. But if you know what to look for, you can find help.

Dorothy R. Ferry

Coffee trailblazer. Unapologetic student. Freelance communicator. Travel nerd. Music fan. Spoke at an international conference about donating magma for farmers. Had some great experience promoting saliva on the black market. Spent 2002-2009 lecturing about basketballs in Pensacola, FL. In 2009 I was writing about Magic 8-Balls in Miami, FL. Earned praised for my work importing crayon art in Hanford, CA. At the moment I'm managing sausage in West Palm Beach, FL.

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