Spinal cord injuries are common in construction accidents where a person falls from a height or has a struck-by injury. SCIs include any damage to your spinal cord or the nerves in the spinal canal. Generally, an SCI will cause permanent alterations to your sensation and strength, particularly below the injury sight.
In addition to paralysis, Mayo Clinic explains that multiple complications can occur due to spinal cord injury.
Your injury can interfere with your circulatory system. When you stand, you could experience low blood pressure or you could have swelling. Circulatory problems can also raise your blood pressure to a dangerous level. You increase your risk for blood clots and pulmonary embolism whenever you have circulation problems.
Pressure injuries happen when a person cannot move or change positions often. If you have lost sensation in parts of your body, you may not notice the pain in your skin as you sit for long periods. Your skin cannot tell your brain that you have an injury, so the pressure sores can worsen or become infected without you recognizing it.
To prevent pressure injuries, you have to change positions often. In addition, you must take care of your skin and check for any injuries, particularly when you have no sensation.
Due to an SCI, many patients cannot stay as fit as they once did. If you cannot exercise due to your injury, a sedentary lifestyle could result in different illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Most people with an SCI have to consider the energy they spend and may need help from a dietician.
Complications of spinal injuries are common, but many have treatment options available.