Damage to the spinal cord from trauma, loss of its normal blood supply, or compression from tumor or infection may lead to spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries may be complete or incomplete. Symptoms of a Spinal cord injury depend on the extent and location of the injury. While in complete injuries the body ceases to function below the level of injury, in incomplete injuries there is some function remaining below the level of injury.
Treatment for spinal injuries includes surgery to stabilize the spine. Vertebrae weakened from fracture, tumor or infection cannot support the normal weight from the body or effectively protect the spinal cord. Then, a combination of metal screws, rods and plates may be necessary to help hold the vertebrae together and stabilize them until the bones heal. After surgery it is critical that patients undergo a thorough rehabilitation program. Methods to help the patient maximize their function through physical and occupational therapy and the use of assistive devices comprise such a programme. A hospital that is experienced in the complete management and rehabilitation of spinal injuries can help a great deal in better outcomes.