Spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord that results in paralysis (loss of mobility, reflexes, or sensation). SCI can occur from: vehicular accidents, sporting activities, gunshot wounds, falls, etc.
Spinal cord injury is dependent on the type and level of injury. An injury can be complete or incomplete. A complete injury means that there is no function, no sensation, and no voluntary mobility below the level of injury. An incomplete injury means that there is some functioning below the primary level of the injury. A person may have partial or complete movement in limb(s) or sensation and feeling in different parts of the body.
When a spinal cord injury occurs, there is usually swelling of the spinal cord. Some people may regain some functioning if the swelling subsides after several days or weeks. Every case of SCI is different and the amount of function that is regained differs among individuals.

After an SCI patient is stabilized, the next step is usually rehabilitation. The amount of stay in a rehabilitation center or unit is dependent on insurance and financial resources. At the rehab center, physical and occupational therapists will work with the SCI patient to achieve as much independence as possible (dependent on level of inury). Also, it is important that family members make sure that the patient’s stay be one in which a patient learns everything that will fully prepare him when he is discharged. 

Following an SCI, the Alan T Brown Foundation (ATBF) is here to answer any questions that may arise regarding a newly-injured person. Please feel free to contact ATBF at 212-944-8727 or via email at ATBF can show you that there is life after paralysis.