Important facts associated with spinal cord injury

If you or a loved one suffers a spinal cord injury, it's important to learn more about what happened and how to move forward in the days, weeks and months to come.

Your treatment strategy is more important than anything, as this is what you'll rely on to hopefully make a full recovery. Even so, there are some other things that you should learn.

Here are some key facts and figures associated with spinal cord injury, all of which are shared by the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation:

-- Based on the current population in the United States, it's estimated that the incidence of spinal cord injury is roughly 40 cases for every million people. This results in right around 12,500 new injury cases every year.

-- It is believed that there are approximately 276,000 people living in the United States after suffering a spinal cord injury.

-- Following a spinal cord injury, the average length of stay in the hospital acute care unit is 11 days. Additionally, the average rehabilitation stay is 36 days.

-- Approximately 30 percent of people with a spinal cord injury are re-hospitalized at least one time during the year following the injury.

As you can see, a spinal cord injury is extremely serious. Even so, a lot of progress has been made in regards to treatment and care.

Due to the potential severity of a spinal cord injury, if you have any reason to believe that you've injured this part of your body, don't wait to receive medical attention. The sooner you get help the better chance you have of making a recovery.

Source: National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, "Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Facts and Figures at a Glance," accessed Nov. 01, 2016

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