Many people tend to focus on the physical limitations that come with a spinal cord injury. What they might not realize is that there are secondary conditions that can come with this type of injury. These secondary conditions can cause considerable issues for the victim.
While all victims of spinal cord injuries won’t face all of these, being aware of them might help you to realize what’s going on if you notice anything amiss.
Autonomic dysreflexia is a condition that’s considered a medical emergency. It’s associated with injuries that occur in the cervical spine or T1 to T6. It’s caused by an overactivity within the nervous system that can lead to a dangerous spike in blood pressure. Individuals who have this condition may suffer from a slow pulse, sweating above the injury level, headache and goosebumps.
During the first few months following the injury, patients are at an increased risk of blood clots. These can be dangerous because they may reach the brain, lungs, or heart. Oftentimes, the blood clots form in the legs because of lack of movement in the area. Symptoms of a blood clot include pain, a spot that’s warm to the touch, swelling, redness or discoloration of the skin.
Pressure sores occur when the skin has prolonged pressure placed on it. Changing positions often is one way to prevent these from occurring. You may notice that an area of skin is painful and may appear red or irritated. This may continue to progress if the pressure isn’t relieved. Eventually, the skin will break down and the underlying tissues can follow.
People who have a spinal cord injury often have considerable medical bills and other expenses. They may opt to pursue a claim for compensation from the negligent party that caused their injury. This can help offset those damages.