It may have been a long and hard road, but if you have a spinal injury, you may be finally starting to see some improvement. Here are signs that your catastrophic spinal injury is on the mend.
You're Starting to Regain Sensation in Your Limbs
Loss of sensation in your limbs can be a devastating effect of a catastrophic spinal injury. Not only does this make it difficult to move around and perform everyday tasks, but it can also be a sign that the injury may be severe. However, regaining sensation in your limbs can be a good sign that your injury is improving. The regained sensation shows the nerves in your spinal cord are beginning to heal and reconnect.
While it may take some time for the sensation to return completely, regaining even a little bit of sensation can be a positive sign of progress. Your doctor can perform routine merit screening to assess spinal cord function and help you determine the next steps in your treatment.
You're Making Progress in Physical Therapy
After a spinal injury, progress in physical therapy is a good indicator that the spinal cord is beginning to heal. After a spinal cord injury, the nervous system's ability to repair itself is severely limited. However, the nervous system can adapt and learn to compensate for the damage (neural plasticity). Progress in physical therapy can show that the nervous system is beginning to adapt and improve function.
Over time, your doctor may track your range of motion, strength, and endurance. They may use tools, such as Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scores to assess your progress. In addition, regular screenings for things like spasticity and pain can help identify any potential problems early on. By tracking all of these indicators, your doctor can check your progress and ensure that you're on track to recovery.
What Happens If You Fail to Get a Spinal Injury Screening After an Injury?
A catastrophic spinal injury is a serious, life-altering injury that can significantly impact a person's quality of life. If you fail to get a merit screening after such an injury, you may be at risk for several complications, including:
- Chronic pain
- Organ damage
- Muscle weakness
- Joint deformity
Additionally, failing to get a merit screening can make it more difficult to obtain the appropriate level of care and treatment. If you or your loved one has suffered a catastrophic spinal injury, schedule an appointment for catastrophic injury merit screening as soon as possible to ensure a full recovery.