Recovery Q&A - Is a Full Recovery Possible?

Q: Is a Full Recovery Possible?



A: It is true. There are people who experience a full recovery after their spinal cord injury. It’s exciting and it gives hope to others with paralysis. These recoveries range from "complete" injuries to "incomplete" injuries. Simply put - doctors do not know everything, even if they have experience treating others with spinal cord injuries similar to yours. "They may know books, but they do not know you," is the common phrase said by people recovering from a spinal cord injury.


The fact is that there's a lot of mystery still left regarding the spinal cord and how it functions and more importantly, how it heals. For example, doctors and researchers know that epidural stimulation can help return mobility to those with spinal cord injuries, but they still aren't exactly sure how it works. The same goes for spinal cord injuries. There are some who experience spontaneous recovery years after their injury, and they don’t know why.


And then there are others who experience less recovery, or none at all, and they may only have just a bruised spinal cord. Doctors aren’t sure exactly why recovery occurs so randomly, but it can. What does this mean to you, as someone hopeful for recovery? Don’t stop having hope, and more importantly, don’t stop your therapy; even if your insurance stops covering it. One of the most important things spinal cord injury survivors recommend is to continue therapy at home and to make it a part of your lifestyle for years, or as some recommend, the rest of your lives.


Full recovery might be rare, but partial recovery is much more common. It doesn’t hurt to root for a miracle, however. Anyone who experiences a spinal cord injury needs to have hope for recovery years after their injury. Do not lose hope, even after the dreaded “2 years post” milestone that many doctors believe spells the end of any chances for recovery, whether it’s sensation or any kind of movement below the level of injury.


Those who’ve experienced either a full or partial recovery post-SCI recommend you follow important steps to enhance your recovery chances. Many people recommend that those who can use their braces, walker, and/or crutches, do so for as long as possible until they are able to incorporate one of these pieces of equipment into their everyday life. Many people with spinal cord injuries are able to improve their skills walking with KAFOs, crutches a walkers, but it can take years after an injury.


Also, it may come to a point where you walk part-time and use your wheelchair-part time. For many people, this is a brilliant recovery in and of itself even if it's not a "full" recovery. Many people report that if they use their braces long enough, they are able to improve their walking ability. 


It is important to not give up. Many people recommend pool therapy and functional electronic stimulation as well. Doctors will often give you a hard "fact" that is in reality an opinion. Do not let their negative mindset influence you. It is also important to be your own advocate. Do not count on the medical community to insist on your therapy and your care. You must do so yourself.


Having the right mindset is critical for achieving a full recovery. Not only do you need to realize that no spinal cord injury is alike, but your determination, courage, and attitude are also essential for your

Topics: Spinal Cord Injury, injuries, treating, 2 years post, any chances for recovery, partial recovery post-SCI, determination, courage, and attitude, sensation, Q: Is a Full Recovery Possible?, recovering from a spinal cord injury, Full recovery, KAFOs, important to not give up

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