Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)?

SCI can happen due to trauma caused by an accident or through an illness and means that the spinal cord has been damaged in some way. This may result in paralysis and loss of some sensation from the point of injury down.

What are the effects of a SCI?

Generally, the higher up the back or neck that the injury occurs the more loss of function and sensation the person will experience. It will also depend on whether the spinal cord is completely severed or only partially damaged.

Why won’t my doctor tell us the exact prognosis?

The time it takes the body to recover from a SCI varies and so a clear and 100% correct prognosis is difficult to give, especially in the cases of incomplete SCI.

Is there a cure for SCI?

At the moment there is no cure for SCI.

There is good quality research being performed but most significant advances have been in laboratory-based work on animals.

All research must be assessed for its risk to harm and more studies are required before the research can be tested on humans. It is important to keep an open mind about such research and to understand that it is at a basic stage but we are happy to discuss what is currently occurring.

Please refer to the grey ‘Patient Information’ folder for further ‘Frequently asked questions’ including the following:-

  • I keep hearing ‘Paraplegia’, ‘Tetraplegia’, ‘Complete’ and ‘Incomplete’ – what do these mean?
  • Is it just my relative’s arms and legs that may be affected?
  • Can a person recover from SCI?
  • How long will my relative be in hospital?
  • What about fertility? Will we ever have children?
  • Will my relative ever be able to work again?

If your relative does not yet have a Patient Information folder please ask a member of staff for one.