The consequences of spinal cord injuries go well beyond physical immobility and pain. Those who suffer such injuries also may be required to endure epidural (including steroid) injections that can be both painful and dangerous. A Vietnam veteran received steroid injections to relieve chronic pain to his neck. However, during the procedure he suffered a stroke and is now blind and confined to a wheelchair. Such injections have frequently become associated with such reactions where complications have led to paralysis and even death. As those that have injured their spinal cord and are enduring chronic pain, it is understandable why such steroid injections have become increasingly popular. The injections are also less invasive than many other kinds of procedures where the patient is forced to undergo the surgeon's knife. For physicians, epidural injections may be one of the easier ways of dealing with treating neck and back pain. Also, physicians are influenced by Medicare procedures concerning reimbursement of costs for providing such injections. This in part may indicate why in the past ten years such injections have increased 159 percent. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries are extremely traumatic for its patients and can greatly decrease the quality of life of those that suffer such harm. It is the type of injury that never goes away as victims will have to live with the consequences of such injuries for the remainder of their lives. Therefore, a great deal must be considered prior to settling any matter where another party is responsible for an individual's spinal cord injury. When considering the damages resulting from spinal cord injuries, one must consider not only past pain, suffering, treatment and expense, but future pain, suffering, treatment and expense as well. And it must be kept in mind that such treatment is often extremely risky. Source: Bloomberg, "Epidurals Linked to Paralysis Seen With $300 Billion Pain Market," by David Armstrong, Dec. 27, 2011