How Long Will I Be in the Hospital for a Spinal Cord Injury?

Because spinal cord injuries can have such a major impact on your life, it’s vital to seek immediate medical attention. You will be under close observation for the first 24 hours of your hospital stay, during which doctors will be monitoring your condition, conducting tests and formulating a treatment regimen. On average, you can expect to spend 8 to 13 days in the hospital for a spinal cord injury.

During this time, doctors will be watching for quite a few different things. They will monitor your vitals, including your heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. They will also check for range of movement and feeling in the extremities, as needed. They will also administer any number of tests, from x-rays to MRIs to CT scans. Your doctors will also check for neurological issues by checking pupil reflexes, balance, strength and other indicators.

From there, there are many different kinds of treatment you may receive. If the injury is not severe, you may just be given painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication. If needed, you may also be given a back brace. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to repair the spine. Note that the 8 to 13 days in the hospital does not include any rehabilitation or occupational therapy you may need.