Spinal cord injuries affect thousands of Americans each year and their impacts range widely depending on severity and recoverability. None of them are easy to get over, nor is the process of recovery without its costs.
When facing an SCI, it may help to understand how much is at stake—physically, financially, and mentally.
Physical costs of an SCI
The spinal column is a vital highway of nerves and any damage to it may risk the loss of motor control, range of motion or even paralysis. This physical handicap, depending on its severity, may require long-term rehabilitation and practice to get used to a new normal.
Financial costs of an SCI
As the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports, SCI costs in the first year average between $375,000 and $1.14 million depending on severity. This includes estimates for emergency surgery, hospital stays and physical therapy as well as living expenses. Since many SCIs are permanent, subsequent years cost a lot as well—averaging between $45,000 and $199,000.
These estimates do not include indirect costs like loss of wages or productivity.
Mental costs of an SCI
These physical limits and financial burdens weigh down on a person. The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center estimates that depression is more common in the SCI population. 1 in 20 Americans experiences depression every year. Rates of depression among SCI victims range between 11% to 37%.
Anyone suffering from an SCI has a lot of costs ahead of them. Some of these costs, like the physical, may be permanent. There may be options to recover the financial costs with an appropriate case.