Once tetanus toxin has bonded to your nerve endings it is impossible to remove. Complete recovery from a tetanus infection requires the growth of new nerve endings and can take up to several months.

Complications of tetanus infection may include:

  • Broken bones. The severity of spasms may cause the spine and other bones to break.
  • Disability. Treatment for tetanus typically involves the use of powerful sedatives to control muscle spasms. Prolonged immobility due to the use of these drugs can lead to permanent disability. In infants, tetanus infections may cause lasting brain damage, ranging from minor mental deficits to cerebral palsy.
  • Death. Severe tetanus-induced (tetanic) muscle spasms can interfere with your breathing, causing periods in which you can't breathe at all. Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death. Lack of oxygen may also induce cardiac arrest and death. Pneumonia is another cause of death.
Apr. 24, 2013