Aside from the initial pain, loss of sensation, and limited functionality caused by a spinal cord injury, several side effects can be caused by spinal cord injuries. Long-term medical issues can range in severity and be disruptive to your life, and the lives of your family and friends.
Spinal cord injuries resulting in decreased mobility or paralysis can, over a long period of time, result in deep vein thrombosis. This in turn can lead to blood clots, and ultimately to strokes. Additionally, the inability to move can lead to bedsores or ulcers on the buttocks, hips, and heels. Painful muscle spasms and disfiguration can also be caused by long periods of immobility. Depending on the damage done, physical therapy may be an effective tool against immobility.
Because your spinal cord houses the nerves for your entire body, every muscle, and gland in your body can be adversely affected by spinal cord injuries. Damage to nerves controlling the abdominal region can result in a loss of bladder and bowel control. Damage to nerves regulating breathing can result in decreased capacity to breathe. Damage to nerves responsible for sexual organs can result in sexual dysfunction. Over time, these things can lead to reliance on permanent medical intervention from respirators, to colostomy bags.
Spinal cord injuries cause immediate pain, and long-term issues that can make life difficult and frustrating. They can also result in oppressive medical expenses, both in the short-term, and for the life of the injured. Most spinal cord injuries are caused by traumatic accidents, often at no fault of the injured. These costs, both physical and monetary are terribly unfair for the victim to assume.