Head and shoulder 3d image showing the veterbrae of the spine

Life Post Major Motor Vehicle Accident: What Type of Rehabilitation Will I Need Following a Spinal Cord Injury?

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of a major motor vehicle accident, what type of rehabilitation is best?  As every spinal cord injury (“SCI”) is unique, the type of rehabilitation you will need depends on factors such as the severity and permanence of the injury, as well as the level of injury within your spine.  In this post, we will focus on types of rehabilitation for serious injuries to the spinal cord that result in quadriplegia or paraplegia.

Overview of types of SCI rehabilitation from our personal injury lawyers

A serious SCI can have far-reaching effects as the nerves of the spinal cord control almost all parts and systems of the body. For example, a traumatic SCI may cause bladder and bowel issues, respiratory issues that require a ventilator, and pressure sores or ulcers. After a major motor vehicle accident that causes a severe injury to the spinal cord, you will need various types of rehabilitation designed to achieve several goals, including optimizing your recovery, adapting to any disability or restrictions, preventing complications, and promoting your independence. An interdisciplinary approach will be essential and the rehabilitation team will likely include your family doctor, a physiatrist (this is a doctor who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation), a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a social worker, a psychologist, and other specialists as necessary, depending on the symptoms you experience (e.g., a speech therapist, a dietician, a recreational therapist) and your ability to work or retrain for a new career (e.g., a vocational counsellor). Your unique needs and how the injury impacts your daily life will determine what type of treatment is best.

Personal injury lawyers discuss changing rehabilitation needs

In the early stages, rehabilitation typically focuses on pain management, stabilizing the injury, and setting the course for optimal functioning of the respiratory and digestive systems. Establishing an exercise program will also be important in the early stages of the rehab process to prevent loss of muscular strength, control spasticity, conserve bone density, and preserve range of motion. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, learning to walk again is often a primary rehabilitation focus (through what is known as “locomotor therapy” or gait training). Over time, rehabilitation needs will change, due to gains and improvements in function, as well as due to complications that may arise and the natural aging process. For example, if you require a catheter, complications may arise from urinary tract infections or renal (kidney) failure. You may need sexual health and reproductive assistance as you move through life. As time progresses, age-related changes may interact with your SCI symptoms, such that you may require modification in equipment, assistive devices, or new therapies.

Get legal advice from the best personal injury lawyer after a major motor vehicle accident

Recovery and treatment following a traumatic spinal cord injury caused by a car accident is in many cases a life-long, expensive process. Personal injury lawyers at Simpson, Thomas & Associates make treatment and recovery from injuries a top priority. We work hard to ensure that car accident victims we represent get the rehabilitation services they need and the funding to cover it. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a serious motor vehicle accident, contact Simpson, Thomas & Associates to get the legal advice and financial compensation for current and future rehabilitation needs. We have considerable experience handling ICBC claims involving spinal cord injuries, including complex personal injury claims for catastrophic injuries such as quadriplegia and paraplegia. Call us today at (604) 689-8888 to request a free consultation with one of our team of the best personal injury lawyers in the Lower Mainland.

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