The New and Expensive Frontier in Spinal Cord Injury Research and Treatment

Ever since your accident last year, when you fractured your spine, you’ve been incessantly worrying about money. You had to spend two long months at Inova getting prodded, scanned, and poked—and your reward was a mountain of bills. You’re now adding to the mountain by going to physical therapy five times a week, learning to walk again. You’ve already mortgaged your house, but the bill pile doesn’t seem to be getting smaller, and you’re afraid you’re about to fall off.

Will it ever get easier? Or is your injury going to send you to bankruptcy?

Price Tags and Research for New Spinal Cord Injury Treatments

Physical therapy, medication, surgery, and mobility equipment are all current treatment options that add to the expense of a spinal cord injury (SCI). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average treatment costs for victims of SCIs can be substantial. The first year alone could cost anywhere from $350,000 to $1.2 million, and each subsequent year could cost an additional $100,000 to $300,000 in treatment and care. Depending on your age at the time of the accident, an SCI could wind up costing you anywhere from $2 million to $10 million over the course of your life.

However, with the steady advancements of technological, medical, and psychological research, the overall cost of spinal cord injury care could decrease. New treatments are being developed that, it is hoped, will speed up recovery, increase care efficiency, improve patient progress, and decrease treatment time.

Unfortunately, although the overall cost may be lower, many of these treatments have a substantial initial price tag:

  • Stem cell replacement therapy. Although highly regarded as the most beneficial of treatments for recovery, the cost varies from $3,000 to $5,000 per injection.
     
  • Advanced technological mobility devices. We are living in an age where technology has become a staple of everyday life. Thankfully, this same technology can be used to help SCI victims move, walk, and function with more ease than ever before. New high-tech wheelchairs, walking suits, and voice- or neuro-command devices show enormous potential for the future. However, as is the nature of new technology, today’s devices must be updated regularly. Initial costs can range from $10,000 to $30,000 and will generally need upgrades or replacements every five years.
     
  • Electroconvulsive therapy to stimulate nerve-to-muscle transmission. Research has found electro-stimulation to be a promising treatment option for SCI victims. Studies show that the therapy helps SCI victims regain mobility by helping send electrical impulse signals from the brain to the spinal cord. However, since the procedure must be closely monitored and can take up to a week of hospitalization per session, it can get pretty expensive. On average ECT can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 per session, plus the cost of the hospital visits.

SCI treatments and recovery can not only be long and arduous, but obviously also extremely expensive. Contact us today for a free consultation about whether you're entitled to damages or compensation for your spinal cord injury. We can help you get the money you need and deserve for your treatment. Call today!

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