What are complications of spinal cord injuries?

As with any severe trauma, there are many complications that may occur with a spinal cord injury. Complications may include extreme changes in blood pressure, deep vein thrombosis, difficulty breathing and pulmonary infections, risk of injury to numb parts of the body, pressure sores from immobility, and contractures.

People with spinal cord injuries are at high risk for kidney problems, kidney infections, and kidney damage. Also, with a spinal cord injury, you may lose control of your bowels. There can be spasticity, paralysis of breathing muscles and paralysis of the body, whether quadriplegia or paraplegia.

Seeking regular medical care for a spinal cord injury is vital in reducing complications that may occur. Your doctor can help you deal with problems associated with spinal cord injuries and teach you how to self-manage many complications with daily care and prevention strategies.

Spinal cord injuries can lead to many complications. When a spinal cord injury results in paralysis, not being able to walk means spending most of the time sitting or lying down. This puts extra pressure on some parts of the skin, which can become broken and painful. Depending on how a person's body is positioned, the muscles may become stiff and tight. If the back muscles become very weak, the vertebrae might start to bend. Not being able to feel things on the skin can lead to other problems, since if people can't feel pain they are more likely to injure themselves. People can damage their skin and not even notice.

Continue Learning about Spinal Cord Injuries

Which parts of the spine are most susceptible to injury?
Blake Medical CenterBlake Medical Center
The cervical and lumbar portions of the spinal cord are the most susceptible to injury.
More Answers
How can someone with a spinal cord injury go to the toilet?
Jumo HealthJumo Health
If someone with a spinal cord injury has trouble going to the toilet, his or her healthcare team wil...
More Answers
Walking Again with the Help of an Exoskeleton
Walking Again with the Help of an Exoskeleton
Who Controls the Exso Exoskeleton?
Who Controls the Exso Exoskeleton?

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.