It’s common for spinal cord injuries to occur in bicycle or car accidents, but more than less affect the life of the victim.
Traumatic accidents are common in California’s highways and cities, but this does not make them any less impacting. The damage caused emotionally and physically can take an extremely long time to heal and become functional. In some cases, the victim never recovers completely and has to live with permanent disabilities.
One of the most serious injuries that can result from a car accident is spinal fractures. There are two surgical treatments that the victim might need for a spinal injury resulting from a car crash. No matter the case always see a medical professional following an accident, you can always speak to a personal injury lawyer afterward.
Spinal Fractures. What Are They?
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons car crashes are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injury. There are different types of spinal cord fractures. Some types are more serious than others. Spinal cord injuries that occur following an accident, are usually paired with other injuries that require immediate medical attention.
Anyone who has a fracture of the spine is likely to feel some symptoms that are associated with damage to the spinal cord itself. These symptoms may include:
- Feeling numbness
- Tingling sensations
- Impaired bladder and bowls
If you have injured your back in an auto accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. If an injury is not promptly treated, it can become worse, causing further injury and prolong the recovery time. For help obtaining compensation please contact the injury lawyers at Krasney Law for a free consultation.
What Causes a Spinal Cord Injury?
When there is extreme force or pressure applied to the spine, it may be too much for the bone within the vertebral column to support. The force causes the front of the vertebrae to fracture. During a spinal cord accident, you run the risk of breaking your entire vertebrae, which can result in a burst fracture.
What Are Some Common Complications With Spinal Cord Injuries?
Anterior Cord Syndrome – When the blood flow to the front of the spinal cord gets interrupted this is known as anterior cord syndrome. Also referred to as anterior spinal artery syndrome, this type of injury is common in California car wrecks. A common symptom of this injury is numbness in the area below the point of injury in the spine. The victim may experience a complete loss of muscle activity in that area. Because this type of injury affects only the front of the spinal cord, the injured person may still have some sensation in the affected area, including the ability to recognize touch below the point of injury. Although, anterior cord syndrome is not completely curable, with the proper care and treatment the victim can experience improvements.
Brown-Sequard Syndrome – This is when blood flow to either the left or the right side of the spinal cord gets affected. Only one side of the body experiences a loss of movement, while the other side retains its usual ability to move or maintain motor function. Brown-Sequard-Syndrome (BSS) is also referred to as a partial spinal sensory syndrome or hemisection of the spinal cord to name a few.
Burst Fracture – This occurs when the vertebrae get crushed from extreme force. The vertebra collapses, and bursts in multiple directions, sending small pieces of shattered bones into the spinal tissue. This type of spinal injury is the most severe type of compression fractures. Burst fractures can damage tissues and nerves in the spinal cord during the break leading to walking difficulty.
Cauda Equina Lesion – occurs when the cauda equine or the nerve roots at the base of the spine gets injured following an accident. If you suffer this injury, your medical expert may recommend immediate surgery to get the nerves back to proper working condition. If performed correctly, the recovery can be smooth and help prevent further health issues in the future.
Central Cord Syndrome – occurs when blood flow to the central part of the spinal cord gets interrupted due to a traumatic accident. This may occur if the neck is hyperextended like in whiplash. Some common symptoms of CCS include:
- Loss of movement in legs, feet, hands, and arms
- Loss of bladder control
Common treatment options for central cord syndrome include surgery, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The victim may need long-term hospitalization. Unfortunately, after everything is done, being back to normal is not guaranteed.
Posterior Cord Syndrome – This type of spinal cord injury is less common than the others and affects the back part of the spinal cord. Because the back part of the spinal cord is mainly responsible for sensory information, a victim of posterior cord syndrome may have a problem with sensory input, but their motor functions are usually normal.
What Are Some Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries?
Some spinal cord injuries are treated with immobilization in some type of brace for as many as 12 weeks. The purpose of this is to prevent any deformity of the spine by preventing it from moving.
Other types of spinal fractures need to be treated with surgery. For example, vertebroplasty is a newer surgical procedure where a special type of bone cement is injected into the vertebrae that are damaged. In severe cases, the broke spine is surgically removed and replaced with metal plates, a cage or screws.
With any surgery, there is always going to be some risk associated. Some of these risks include nerve damage, infection, and stiffness. So even if surgery is required, there is no guarantee that the victim will have a complete recovery. Additionally, the cost of surgery, therapy, and rehabilitation can take a toll on a victim both physically and financially which is why we recommend speaking with a personal injury lawyer near you as soon as possible.