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How are spinal injuries treated?

People who have suffered a spinal injury require immediate treatment to prevent further damage to the spinal cord. At the scene of the accident medical personnel should immobilize the person's head, neck, and back and administer steroid medications to control swelling. Immediate surgery may be necessary to evaluate the state of the spinal cord, stabilize fractured vertebrae, release pressure from the injured area, and treat injuries to other parts of the body.

There is no way to regenerate nerve tissue that has been damaged, but ongoing treatment and rehabilitation may allow some people with spinal trauma to regain some feeling and function. Depending on the severity of the injury, people may require long-term interventions such as mechanical ventilation to help them breath, a catheter to drain the bladder, or a feeding tube to provide extra nutrition and calories.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.