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These complications can happen after a spinal cord injury

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2020 | Chronic Pain, Healthcare, Injury Prevention, What You Need To Know

With any kind of spinal injury, there is a risk of developing complications. While people have been living longer and more comfortably after spinal injuries, complications may be systemic.

Systemic and local complications can both make recovering from a spinal cord injury more difficult. Here are some of the most common complications to watch out for.

Neuropathic joint arthropathy

Neuropathic joint arthropathy is another name for Charcot joint arthropathy. This is a condition that may develop many months or years after the initial spinal cord injury. This is a type of delayed spinal cord injury complication.

With this injury, there is a slow degeneration of a joint. This may lead to a deformity of the joint as well as pain and reduced function.


Another disorder that can occur is spasticity. Spasticity happens when there is a long-term muscle contraction that leads to the muscles becoming rigid or stiff. Those who have chronic spinal cord injuries are likely to develop this condition. Approximately 65 to 78% of people with spinal cord injuries develop this condition.

Autonomic dysreflexia

Autonomic dysreflexia is caused when there is a damaging event below the point of the original spinal cord injury. For example, there may be pressure sores or an infection. As a result of the injury, the body’s autonomic nervous system becomes unregulated, which can lead to trouble breathing, issues controlling your bodily functions or even heart problems.

Each of these conditions can happen due to a spinal cord injury, even if they don’t happen immediately. They should be accounted for when you make a workers’ compensation claim and seek compensation, so you have the coverage you need if they occur.