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Hi, a friend of mine was in a car accident. She had her seatbelt on, but the crush was so intense that she injured her spine. She is now in the hospital. Her parents have told me that she will most probably remain paralyzed because her spinal cord has been damaged. Can you tell me something about spine paralysis? Is there any chance that my friend will walk again?

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Hi, the damage to the spine does not necessarily mean that the person will be paralyzed. But, if a spinal cord is injured, some level of paralysis is possible. You see, spinal cord is like a highway used for the travel of information from the brain to the body and back. If the nerves that compose spinal cord are damaged, the information cannot be delivered to the muscles and so the person cannot control certain parts of the body. For instance, if your friend hurt her lower back, than she will experience the paralysis from the waist down, but her upper body will not be affected. Although the spinal injuries are serious, it does not mean that your friend will remain paralyzed for life. There are treatments that include surgery and intense physical therapy that could help her regain some, and maybe even total control of her legs. Usually the first two years after the injury are most important and the doctors believe that during this time patients like your friend have the greatest chances for recovery. It is thought that after this time significant improvement is not possible. So, you should show all your love and support to your friend. She will need your help to overcome her situation.
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