Trusted Lawyers With A Proven Record Of Success
  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Construction Accidents
  4.  → Can construction workers recover from spinal cord injuries?

Can construction workers recover from spinal cord injuries?

Construction sites are often hives of activity, with workers constantly on the move at varying heights. While safety protocols are mandatory, falls remain a significant risk. One of the most devastating consequence of such falls can be a spinal cord injury (SCI). This begs the question: can construction workers who suffer SCIs from a great height ever heal and regain function?

The answer, unfortunately, is complex. Unlike a broken bone that heals with proper care, nerve damage in the spinal cord is likely to be permanent. However, the extent of the damage and the location of the injury significantly impact the potential for recovery.

Understanding the impact of falls

Falls from significant heights can cause different types of SCIs. A complete SCI severs all communication between the brain and the body below the injury. This can result in total paralysis. Incomplete SCIs, on the other hand, leave some pathways intact, allowing for varying degrees of function.

The level of the injury on the spinal cord also plays a crucial role. SCIs in the cervical (neck) region often cause more severe paralysis, affecting all four limbs and breathing. Conversely, thoracic (chest) and lumbar (lower back) injuries might result in partial paralysis in the legs and loss of bladder and bowel control.

The road to recovery

While complete recovery from an SCI is currently not possible, extensive rehabilitation plays a critical role in maximizing a patient’s potential. Modern rehabilitation programs involve a multidisciplinary team – doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists and psychologists – working together to achieve the following goals:

  • Preventing complications: SCIs can lead to secondary issues like pressure sores and muscle atrophy. A rehabilitation program focuses on maintaining good skin health, preventing muscle loss and managing pain.
  • Restoring function: Therapists work on improving strength, coordination and mobility. This might involve using assistive devices like wheelchairs, braces or walkers to regain independence.
  • Promoting mental well-being: The emotional and psychological impact of an SCI can be immense. Rehabilitation programs offer support groups and counseling to help patients adjust to their new reality.

The success of rehabilitation depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the patient’s age, overall health and commitment to therapy.

Hope is crucial for construction workers facing the life-altering experience of an SCI. While a complete return to their previous physical capabilities may not be possible, advancements in rehabilitation and ongoing research hold promise for a future with improved function and a higher quality of life. Furthermore, by consulting with a reliable legal team, affected workers can likely pursue compensation for their injuries successfully.