All spinal cord injuries could rightly be called “very serious,” and it is in fact a rare day when a person is able to walk away from a spinal cord injury and not experience some sort of permanent handicap which will affect the way the victim lives the rest of his or her life.
However, it is equally important to remember that not all spinal cord injuries will end in complete paralysis and, in some cases, a victim may not be completely immobile at all. The extent of the injury usually depends on where in the backbone the injury is located.
If the damage to the spinal cord is located closer to the head, a victim will likely suffer complete paralysis of all four limbs and may not even be able to breathe or swallow effectively. They will likely require constant medical attention and treatment for the rest of their lives.
An injury in the middle of the back will likely mean a person will be able to use his or her upper body but will have paralysis in the legs. While this type of victim might be able to function with some level of independence, obviously he or she will be dealing with a serious and permanent disability.
A person with an injury in the lower back, depending on the exact location of the injury and other circumstances, has a good chance of still being able to walk, although perhaps not terribly well. Incontinency may also be an issue, but, on the whole, the person may be able to continue performing all of their daily life functions and may even be able to return to work. Still, they will face several physical and emotional challenges since doing their daily tasks will be much more difficult.