Spinal cord injuries are among the most challenging and debilitating injuries to recover from. Unfortunately, those who have been involved in car accidents probably know them all too well.
While any type of car accident injury can be serious, spinal cord injuries can have long-lasting effects on your health and well-being, requiring victims to pay large amounts of money for things like doctor’s visits, pain management, and rehabilitative care.
Spinal cord injuries refer to a broad category of injuries— in fact, several different types of injuries are most likely to occur during a car wreck.
Below are some of the most common types of spinal cord injuries that can result from car accidents:
The spinal cord is made up of a series of bones, or vertebrae, cushioned by small, spongy discs to protect the bones from rubbing against one another. In a car accident, the force of the impact can cause these discs to bulge or rupture, leading to pain and numbness in the affected area. Symptoms of a herniated or ruptured disc include radiating pain throughout the body or numbness in specific regions of the body.
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Sometimes during an accident, the body can be jerked swiftly in opposing directions before returning to place. This can put significant pressure on the spinal column, sometimes resulting in a compression fracture. Fractured vertebrae occur when the spinal column bones are broken, leading to symptoms such as pain, weakness, and loss of sensation.
Additionally, compression fractures can cause spondylolisthesis, a condition where fractured vertebrae place excessive pressure on the spinal column, causing it to shift. Symptoms often include things like pain and numbness in the body and bladder control problems.
Spinal Cord Compression
If the spinal cord is compressed or pinched due to the impact of a car accident, it can cause a range of symptoms, including pain, numbness, and difficulty moving.
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While spinal stenosis isn’t caused by the injuries sustained during a car accident, a car crash can cause symptoms of spinal stenosis to worsen. It may also cause asymptomatic cases to become symptomatic.
Various factors, including aging, arthritis, herniated discs, spinal injuries, and tumors can cause spinal stenosis. In some cases, it can be present at birth or develop as a result of a congenital condition.
Common symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the affected area. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can affect a person’s ability to walk, stand, or perform other daily activities. Some people may also experience bladder or bowel dysfunction, which can indicate severe spinal stenosis and require immediate medical attention.
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While not technically a spinal cord injury, whiplash is a common injury in car accidents that can cause damage to the neck and spine. This occurs when the head and neck are suddenly jerked forward and back, causing strain on the neck muscles and ligaments.
Seeking Medical Attention is the Most Important Thing To Do After A Car Accident
It’s important to note that not all spinal cord injuries are immediately apparent, and in some cases, symptoms may not develop until days, weeks, or even months after the accident. This is why seeking medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident is essential, even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured.
Additionally, having clear medical documentation and a recorded timeline of your injuries is critical to developing a solid claim, especially if previous spinal cord injuries existed prior to the accident. Even if you don’t suspect injuries are present following your car accident, it’s still essential to visit the doctor should your symptoms present in the weeks following your wreck.
If you have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury due to a car accident, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options. In many cases, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to the accident.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that while spinal cord injuries can be serious, they are not always life-altering. With proper medical care and the support of an experienced legal team, you can get the help you need to recover and move forward after a car accident.
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