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The Difference Between Complete and Incomplete SCIs

Rapa Law Office, P.C. Sept. 20, 2021

After a car accident, it is normal for anyone to want to put that trauma behind them as quickly and as smoothly as possible. But some injuries risk long-term recovery or even life-long disability.

When it comes to spinal cord injuries, there are two main types to learn about. Anyone suffering from an SCI after an accident may want to know the differences and the potential costs ahead of them.

Complete vs Incomplete Injuries

SCIs affect a person’s nervous system. Damage to that system affects sensation and motor control. The further up the damage is on the spinal cord, the more widespread the potential disability is. According to Medical News Today, complete injuries involve the total loss of sensation and motor control and comprise around 50% of all SCIs.

Incomplete SCIs involves a partial loss of these sensations, which may include numbness, tingling or difficulty moving limbs or digits. This partial loss may or may not be permanent, depending on the recovery process.

Costs Of SCIs

Since medical science has no true cure for SCIs, recovery comes down to two things: surgery and physical therapy. This levels a high cost on people in their first and subsequent years of suffering an SCI. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that average first-year costs range between $375,000 and $1.14 million, depending on the severity of the injury. The center estimates subsequent years cost between $45,000 and $200,000.

Those estimates are high for anyone and that cost is the last thing people want to think about after surgery and during physical therapy. But these estimates are useful for anyone fighting with their insurance or seeking a damages claim out of a car accident. It is important to lean on research and resources when securing the compensation and support a person needs.