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What are common complications of spinal cord injuries?

A spinal cord injury can be serious on many fronts, including the physical changes it will cause. Immediately following this type of injury, it is common for the person to have a difficult time, both physically and emotionally. It is important to become familiar with the most common complications associated with spinal cord injuries, as this makes it easier to deal with anything that comes up down the road.

Some of the most common complications include:

-- Bladder control.

-- Bowel control.

-- Skin sensation, such as not being able to feel heat or cold.

-- Circulatory control. A spinal cord injury can cause problems such as low blood pressure, blood clots and pulmonary embolus.

-- Respiratory system. A spinal cord injury can make it more difficult to breathe.

-- Muscle tone. There are two types of muscle tone problems associated with spinal cord injuries: limp muscles and uncontrolled motion.

-- Overall wellness and fitness. Following a spinal cord injury, the person may face muscle atrophy, weight loss and other fitness and wellness related concerns. Limited mobility can make it difficult to get any type of exercise.

These are just a few of the many complications that can come about following a spinal cord injury.

If a person is involved in an accident, such as one in which his or her vehicle is struck by a truck, there is always the chance of serious injury, such as one to the spinal cord or brain. In the event that a person is permanently disabled, he or she may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney about holding the negligent party responsible.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Complications" accessed Jan. 26, 2015

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