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What is the outlook for patients with spinal cord injury?
The best chance for recovery of function following spinal cord injury is through prompt treatment. Early surgical decompression and stabilization leads to better recovery. Aggressive physical therapy and rehabilitation after surgery also maximizes recovery. The majority of recovery occurs within the first six months after injury. Any remaining loss of function present after 12 months is much more likely to become permanent.
Maintaining a positive outlook is extremely important for patients with spinal cord injury. The use of assistive devices allows most people with even severe spinal cord injuries to integrate into society and stay productive. Unfortunately, the rate of depression, divorce, and substance abuse are significantly higher in people with spinal cord injury. There are many support groups and treatments available for people with spinal cord injury as listed below.