Will you ever be able to walk again?

You have an incomplete spinal cord injury. It’s very severe, even though it’s not complete, and a little feeling remains. Will you be able to walk again?

The answer is different for everyone, and experts warn that it’s hard to know for certain. There are definitely cases that looked hopeful at the beginning, but in which the person never regained that skill, and there are cases that looked hopeless where the person was eventually able to walk again.

One thing that’s important to note is that the longer an injury lingers without healing, the lower the odds that it will deal. For example, 24 to 36 months after the injury, if muscles still are not working properly, experts say the odds are very slim that they’ll ever start to function again.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, but experts like to see improvement in the first few months. Even minor improvements can be a great sign, indicating that significant improvements over time are far more likely. If nothing changes at all for 12 months, that could indicate that the loss of function is permanent.

Again, that doesn’t mean healing can never happen, but it’s critical to be realistic with yourself when facing these types of catastrophic injuries. There may be a point where you need to stop focusing on healing and start focusing on adjusting to living with the injury.

Plus, you may have a right to financial compensation if someone else caused the injury. If so, knowing if your condition is permanent or not can play a huge role in how much compensation you deserve.

Source: Craig Hospital, “Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries: The Early Days,” accessed July 06, 2017