One person’s spinal cord injury may be much different than another person’s injury. The spinal cord is complex. Injuries can occur in many ways that cause different symptoms or results.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons explains there are many different levels of spinal cord injuries, which means your injury may not be like someone else’s injury.
Doctors will place your injury on a grading scale. The scale goes from A to E with E being normal or no injury. A D grade means you have an incomplete injury where more than half of your muscle groups do not work properly. A C grade is also incomplete with movement in more than half of the muscle groups.
A B grade is an incomplete injury where you have loss of motor function completely. An A grade is a complete injury of the spinal cord and results in zero movement or sensory abilities.
The severity of your injury will greatly impact your recovery. If you have a minor injury, there is more potential for recovery than if your injury is more severe.
A good example of a minor injury is a spinal concussion, which is more like a shock to the system. It may produce paralysis or loss of movement, but it will usually resolve in a few days.
In addition, if you have an incomplete injury, you have some movement abilities below the injury point, which can aid in recovery. On the other hand, a complete injury means you lose all function below the injury point.
How the injury occurred can also impact severity. For example, some accidents provide a cleaner injury than others where there is less chance for additional injury and better healing.
Many factors will impact how your spinal cord injury affects you. Everyone has a different situation with variables that impacts how their body responds, which is why there is so much variance in people with such injuries.