Prognosis and Recovery

Rehabilitation leg machineYour doctor may not be able to give you a prognosis right away. Prognosis for patients with spinal cord injuries varies and depends largely on the degree of damage.  In many cases, physicians cannot be certain of the extent of immobility until a few months have passed since the injury. Some patients will have more mobility than others. Recovery, if it occurs, typically starts a week to six months after an injury. However, some people experience small improvements for up to one to two years.

Patients often develop a number of secondary conditions following spinal cord injury. Managing these conditions with qualified health care providers along with a good support system of therapists, family, and friends plays a large role in one’s quality of life. Staying emotionally healthy and maintaining good eating and exercise habits are important.

Hiring a Private Caregiver/Personal Assistant

Individuals with spinal cord injuries often need help doing day-to-day tasks, including but not limited to: dressing, grooming, bathing, eating, housecleaning, and grocery shopping.  These are often called activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). A caregiver/personal assistant can help with day to day tasks along with bowel and bladder care, respiratory care, giving medications, positioning, transferring, range of motion exercise, and other tasks.  In some cases, a family member can fill this role but in many cases, the caregiver is a paid employee. Click on the link below to get more information about hiring a caregiver/personal assistant:

Hiring Caregivers for Spinal Cord Injury (https://www.fairview.org/patient-education/41199)

Guide to Hiring a Caregiver