Medical Treatment & Rehabilitation:
The treatment and rehabilitation aspects should go hand in hand and as soon as possible after the injury. After the surgery, most of the times if there is no associated complication, ten days post the operation, they are ready to be discharged to a dedicated rehabilitation unit.
The goals for rehabilitation for persons who do not have adequate muscle power to walk independently are:
As there is so much to gain from a good rehabilitation program, the earliest they get to a rehabilitation center the better it is because they will be able to get back to life soon.
There is no point in waiting in the hospital and trying some half-hearted physiotherapy, hoping that some improvement will happen. In some places, the trend is they are in ICU for 10/15 days then come to bed for 10/15 days and then go home and try Ayurveda. If such things can be prevented we can avoid further complications in an efficient way.
If the person is well managed initially, then his rehabilitation will normally take about four to six weeks on an average, assuming there are no complications or pressure ulcers. The actual training is only for about three weeks. Every pressure ulcer can take at least an extra month on an average.
We have to get on with life with whatever neurological deficits there, as there is no scientifically proven treatments in the world that promotes nerve function after a spinal cord injury. Whatever improvements happen will happen by themselves though there is no certainty of happening, degree of improvement or timeframe.
Key aspects to take care at this stage:
2. Changing positions every two hours while lying down.
3. Checking the skin in the parts where there is no sensation and applying a few drops of coconut oil, especially in the buttock areas.
4. Lying prone, if the doctors have permitted.
Please get in touch with The Spinal Foundation Toll Free 1800 425 1210 or Mobile 0 97909 36844 for guidance by peer group members who have long years of experience in living well with spinal cord injury.