Level of independence in relation to the lesion level
In case of a spinal cord injury, the lesion level, i.e. the part where the spinal cord is injured, has a crucial meaning: depending on where this part is exactly located, it determines the functional options, i.e. which activities the injured persons will be able to do at the end of the rehabilitation process and for which ones they will be dependent on support. It also determines which assistive devices they will need in everyday life.
The following table gives an overview of which lesion level allows for which degree of independence with respect to everyday life activities such as driving a car, housekeeping, body hygiene, eating and drinking, etc. The last column lists possible and recommended assistive devices as well as possible necessary measures for adapting apartment and environment of the persons affected.
Other factors are obviously responsible for the degree of independence, e.g. age and whether the lesion is complete or incomplete. Therefore the list of data below, which refer to complete lesions, is to be considered as orientation aid only.