Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries - 5/24/2022

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can affect every aspect of a person's life, including their ability to live independently. While these types of injuries can be overwhelming, there are solutions to help facilitate rehabilitation. Understanding all aspects of a patient's health and formulating a unique care plan can help promote an environment for Maximum Medical Improvement.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

When a spinal cord sustains injury, various functions of the patient’s body will be affected. Short and long-term rehabilitation goals are often dependent on the type of spinal cord injury a patient experiences. There are two types of spinal cord injuries. 

Spinal Cord Injuries
  • A complete spinal cord injury. This type of spinal cord injury is marked by permanent damage to the area the injury affects. This often results in paraplegia or tetraplegia.
  • An incomplete spinal cord injury. This type of spinal cord injury is marked by the spinal cord being partially damaged. Severity of symptoms can depend on the area injured, as well as the level of injury.



Symptoms of a spinal cord injury are wide ranging and should also be handled on a case-by-case basis. Symptoms typically depend on the injury’s location, as well as the severity of the injury.

Common Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries Include:

  • Loss or altered sensation in limbs.
  • Loss or disruption of bowel or bladder control.
  • Muscle spasms or limb jerking motions.
  • Pain or other intense sensations.
  • Loss or altered state of mobility.

While a spinal cord injury causes many physical symptoms, it also affects a patient’s independence. Often this results in other secondary issues as well, including ulcers, infections, fractures, pulmonary complications, and depressive disorders.

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Early rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury is pertinent to help in preventing additional damage, as well as promote recovery. The main goal of rehabilitation is guidance towards independent mobilization. The treatment and rehabilitation process for a spinal cord injury can be long and intensive. Well-constructed rehabilitation programs typically take a multidisciplinary approach.



When a patient is no longer hospitalized, the care team will need to focus on the level of mobility when compared to the severity of the injury to promote independence. Home modifications are typically recommended to allow a patient to live independently. This can include modifying doors, entryways, bathrooms, and the height of certain appliances or switches. The patient may also utilize the walking devices, including crutches or walkers.

Case Management That Works for The Individual

A spinal cord injury can happen to anyone. However, management and care plans should be individualized to fit the unique needs of each patient. The ability to recognize the need for implementing custom solutions is only one step of the process. Implementation of these solutions make all the difference in the recovery process, as well as the quality of life for a patient.

Learn How We Can Help

Learn How We Can Help

At SCM Associates, we provide innovative healthcare services because we believe that every patient deserves the highest quality of life possible. Our team of professional pride themselves on educating, coordinating, and implementing winning solutions for providers and patients alike. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our innovative offerings that keep costs low and put the patient first.

SCM Associates establishes first Nursing Student Clinical Education Training Program and Partnership with Mount Saint Mary’s University

SCM is proud to be a clinical site for the Nursing students at Mount St. Mary’s University. During their clinical rotation with SCM, students learn about Case Management, the process a patient goes through, both before and after a hospital stay, as well as the care coordination that is needed to provide quality care in a holistic manner.

As the clinical site, we love teaching the students about the behind-the-scenes of case management. For instance, how authorizations and care coordination happen, compared to what they would see in a hospital setting as a staff nurse.

Here at SCM, we love seeing the students’ curiosity, answering their questions, and being able to share real case scenarios. This engages them to think about nursing in a brand-new way.


What the students are saying:

Thank you for showing us aside of nursing we never thought we would get the opportunity to see. We are all so grateful for the knowledge and experiences you shared with us and we will surely carry them on as we prepare to become future RNs. You are a true inspiration for all of us. We especially appreciate the enthusiasm you have in teaching.

Spring 2021 MSMU Nursing Seniors