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5 conditions that a spinal cord injury victim may face

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Injuries |

Paralysis of the limbs is one of the most common effects of a spinal cord injury (SCI). But, it’s not the only co-morbidity that may be associated with an SCI. There are several other common related conditions that people with this type of injury may have to deal with as their circumstances evolve.

The severity, location and type of SCI can have an impact on which secondary conditions a person may have to live with. The following can all require medical attention, which adds to the overall cost of an injury.

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is common for individuals with SCIs, particularly those who have limited mobility. DVT occurs when blood clots form in deep veins, usually in the legs. This can lead to life-threatening pulmonary embolisms if the clots travel to the lungs.

Respiratory issues

Respiratory issues are another concern for people who have damage to the spinal cord. Any cervical or thoracic injury has the risk of damaging the respiratory muscles. Decreased lung function can require mechanical ventilation and may lead to pneumonia and other infections.

Pressure ulcers

Pressure ulcers, or bedsores, develop due to prolonged pressure on the skin. They’re common over bony areas and can reduce blood flow, which damages the tissue. Individuals with SCIs are particularly vulnerable due to reduced mobility and sensation. This condition can quickly escalate from a sore that’s treatable at home to one that requires surgery or other inpatient treatments.


Spasticity are the involuntary muscle contractions that are common following an SCI. This condition can cause muscle stiffness, pain and difficulty with movement, impacting daily activities and quality of life. While this condition is often manageable with medications, it can severely impact a person’s ability to function independently.


Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening response to infection, and individuals with SCIs are at an increased risk due to factors like pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections and respiratory infections. Recognizing the early signs of sepsis, such as fever, increased heart rate and confusion, is critical for prompt treatment.

The cost of medical care after a SCI can be considerable. Victims of injuries that result from another party’s negligence may opt to pursue a compensation claim. State law limits the time victims have to file a claim, so they may benefit from working with a legal representative who can assist them with getting their case together swiftly.

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