As maritime attorneys, we know that surgery after a spinal cord injury can help management of pain in such patients.  However, new research out of the UK suggests that surgery after an injury can also benefit the patient by dramatically lowering his death risks.

According to the data presented at a conference of the British Geriatrics Society, spinal surgery can lower the risk of fatality in patients by as much as 44%.  Researchers studied 410,965 cases of persons who had suffered spinal fractures.  They found that people who had surgery after a fracture had a survival rate that was close to 75%, whereas among those people who had no surgery, the survival rate was just over 67%.  That’s not all.  Persons who underwent a procedure called balloon kyphoplasty seem to have greater benefits in terms of survival rates, compared to those patients who underwent a vertebroplasty.

Additionally, when the researchers followed the progress of these patients, who had the surgery, over a period of four years, they found that over time, the persons who had the surgery were less likely to suffer complications from the injury, and less likely to die as a result.  A spinal surgery can lead to complications like a higher susceptibility to fractures, immobility and appetite loss.  Those complications could be avoided by surgery.

Doctors often recommend surgery after spinal injury in order to contain the pain.  However, this research proves that surgery can also increase the chances of surviving after a spinal injury.

Maritime workers are very often exposed to spinal cord injuries as a result of fall accidents in the workplace.  A spinal cord injury can be caused by any dramatic blow to the spine, such as those that occur from falling objects or debris.