Today, with improved medical care and support, the outlook for people with SCIs is better than ever. In many cases, 1 year after the injury, life expectancy is close to that of a person without an SCI.2
If you are planning to work, you have the same legal rights as before your injury. People with spinal cord injuries who want to work are legally protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Plan ahead for possible serious and life-threatening complications. You, your family, and your doctor should discuss what types of medical treatment you want if you have a sudden, life-threatening problem. You may want to create an advance directive to state your wishes if you become unable to communicate.