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Does damage keep occurring after a spinal cord injury?

When your spinal cord is initially injured in Illinois, the damage is very clear and may require a combination of surgeries and rehabilitation to heal. Some damage never fully heals. However, it's also important to know that damage can actually get worse over time.

One reason for this is that blood flow to certain parts of the body can be altered or restricted. This reduction can then cause more damage, especially to neurons, which can be killed from the lack of oxygen and the swelling in the region.

Additionally, neurotransmitters can be released in excess because of the injury. This can then kill nerve cells. One of the most common neurotransmitters to be released in this way is glutamate.

Nerve cells are also in danger of being damaged by free radicals. While the body typically does create a small number of these free radicals, many more can be created because of the injury, and they're problematic in large numbers.

Another issue that people sometimes face is the self-destruction of some nerve cells. Doctors are still not sure why this happens, but many cells can be lost in this fashion.

Finally, there could be permanent scarring in the area. The full impact of this scarring depends on exactly where it forms, but it has been noted to create a barrier that is both physical and chemical, and that barrier can then stand in the way of regeneration.

As you can see, there are many aftereffects from these types of injuries, and so it's wise to know about the full range of complications and issues when seeking compensation.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "Spinal Cord Injury: Hope Through Research," accessed June 10, 2015

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