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Cok Kinzler PLLP

The timing of SCI surgery could plot the course of your recovery

You may have heard the accident before you realized what was happening. It may have taken you a second or two to identify the crunch of metal, the skidding of tires and other sounds that indicate you were in a crash. In the next few minutes, you may have struggled to catch up with events.

Then, you tried to move. Adrenaline may have kept you moving at first, but soon your body took over. If you were out walking around, you may have collapsed or if you were still in the vehicle, your brain began to register that you couldn't move. When emergency medical personnel arrived, they quickly began assessing your injuries and stabilizing you for transport. You may not have immediately realized that you suffered a spinal cord injury.

Understanding the surgical options

Research indicates there is a window of time in which doctors can try to improve your chances of as complete a recovery as possible. After stabilizing you, it may become clear that surgery is one of the best treatment options for your case. The surgeon will determine how quickly the procedure can happen. Surgery is designed to accomplish two goals: decompression of the spinal cord and stabilization of the spinal column.

The sooner the pressure on your spinal cord is relieved, the better off you will be. The surgeon removes bones fragments, soft tissues and other damaged structures putting pressure on the spinal cord. Doctors will determine which method will provide you with the best outcome possible. Depending on your situation, you may also need spinal stabilization surgery that often involves fusing vertebrae and inserting rods, screws and other medical devices.

Time is of the essence

Research indicates the first 24 hours after your injury is vital for improving your chances of recovery. The sooner adequate blood flow is restored to your spinal column, the better off you will be. Not only does it improve recovery chances but may also reduce your time in the hospital, reduce costs and reduce the chances of complications, some of which can threaten your life.

There is no magic formula to determine exactly how soon your surgery should happen, but most agree with the assessment that surgical intervention, if needed, should occur within the first 24 hours.

The damage isn't only to your body and mind

Right now, your focus is more than likely on your physical and mental recovery, as it should be. However, soon it will become apparent that your financial situation will suffer as well. Medical expenses, time off work and other damages will begin to add up quickly.

It may be possible to pursue much needed compensation from the party or parties believed responsible for your injuries. With everything you face during your recovery, the last thing you need is to add more stress to your life. Fortunately, you can rely on an experienced, compassionate and knowledgeable Montana attorney to advocate on your behalf as you move through the legal process.

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