The prognosis for spinal cord injuries usually depends on the severity of injury and also the emergency care (immobilization immediately) at the time of injury. A spinal cord injury is classified as being incomplete or complete. When a spinal cord injury is incomplete, it means there is still a connection between the spinal cord and the brain to send communication. If you have an incomplete spinal cord injury, you should still have feeling or motor function below the site of the injury. If you have a compete spinal cord injury, you may not have any feeling or motor function below the site of the injury as the connection between the spinal cord and the brain has been lost.
Whether your injury is incomplete or complete, you may still have to cope with side effects and complications of a spinal cord injury. After a spinal cord injury, you may have to deal with new problems such as chronic pain, pain medications, immobility or learning to walk again, and problems with your bowels, bladder, breathing and heart. The good news is that by working with your doctor, you can learn how to self-manage these complications on a daily basis. Understanding the symptoms and getting a medical diagnosis and treatment immediately for complications is important in living well with a spinal cord injury.