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Do spinal cord injury victims always need a wheelchair?

No Delaware resident wants to face the prospect of a devastating injury, but for accident victims there is no choice. Whether one was hurt in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, a workplace accident or a recreational accident, the prospect of a spinal cord injury may be present. One of the primary fears of those with recent spinal cord injuries is often the thought of life spent in a wheelchair.

It may be surprising to learn that not everyone who has a spinal cord injury requires a wheelchair all of the time. First, different types of SCI typically require different types of assistance. Those with High C-level SCI often need a power wheelchair, while those with low C-level SCI and lower often need a manual wheelchair. Some individuals with SCI are able to get around with crutches or braces. However, this doesn't mean that these people will never need to use a wheelchair, just that a combination of aids may be utilized at different times.

While SCI victims often need wheelchairs, either manual or powered, as an integral part of their daily lives, they are not necessarily in them all of the time. A person who requires a wheelchair to get around may still be able to engage in different activities, from swimming to driving and even flying planes or skiing. Nevertheless, ambulation aids are almost always a need for those who have suffered SCI.

Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure for SCI, although medical advances continue to make life easier for those with this type of injury. Still, the long-term medical care required by those with SCI can be extremely costly. If one's SCI is the result of another's negligence, compensation for medical expenses and recovery may be available.

Source: Shepherd Center, "Learn about spinal cord injuries," accessed July 18, 2015

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