Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Treatment
Immobilization of the entire spine is critical immediately after suffering the injury to prevent further damage and to identify other critical or life threatening issues. Standard ICU care, including maintaining a stable blood pressure, monitoring cardiovascular function, ensuring adequate ventilation and lung function, as well as preventing and promptly treating infection and other complications.
Surgery is most common when a person suffers an incomplete SCI. If the spine is compressed from a herniated disk or a blood clot is formed and is restricting blood flow then surgery will likely be an immediate consideration. Even if surgery cannot repair damage to the spine, it may still be necessary in order to stabilize the spine and prevent further pain or injury.
The initial focus may be to strengthen and maintain existing muscle function, as well as redeveloping fine motor skills. You will be educated on the effects of your spinal cord injury and taught how to avoid complications. Finally, you will be taught new skills and how to use various equipment and technology to improve your quality of life. The fastest rate of recovery will likely be seen in the first six months, with small improvements occurring up to two years after injury.