Spinal Cord Injury - Prognosis

The prognosis for spinal cord injury depends on two factors: the location of the injury and its extent. Injuries of the neck above the C4 nerves are the most dangerous. Patients often lose the ability to breathe on their own. The infection of the respiratory (breathing) tract that can result is the leading cause of death among patients with this type of spinal cord injury.

Overall, 85 percent of SCI patients who survive the first twenty-four hours after being injured are still alive ten years after the injury. How much control over bodily functions a patient recovers is impossible to predict. There more moderate the injury to the spinal cord, the greater chance for recovery.

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