Complete versus incomplete spinal cord injuries

Apr 24, 2022 | Social Security Disability

If you suffer a spinal cord injury, there are two basic categories in which this injury is likely to fall. It could either be an incomplete injury or a complete injury.

Though it is true that every spinal cord injury is different, it’s important to understand which category you may fit into and how this could impact the way that your injury changes your life in the future. This is especially true if you believe that the spinal cord injury has produced a long-term disability.

What is the difference?

A complete spinal cord injury is what people generally refer to as paralysis. If the spinal cord has been completely severed and messages can no longer move from your brain through the cord, all feeling and mobility below that point are generally going to be lost. That’s part of the reason that the location of the injury matters so much since this can determine where this loss begins. A spinal cord injury at your neck, for instance, can be much more serious than one in your lower back, at least in the sense that it limits your body in more significant ways.

An incomplete injury means that there is still substantial damage, but some messages can still pass through that area. This does not mean that you have full feeling or movement below the injury. You may just have the faintest sensations. But it does mean that the injury has not completely severed the spinal cord.

No matter which type of injury you have, it certainly could qualify as a disability. Be sure you know about all the options at your disposal. Social Security Disability benefits can help you and your family begin to piece your lives back together after a serious injury.