Neck & Back or spinal cord injuries are often the result of an auto accident or a slip and fall accident. The sudden force and impact of an accident often results in a movement that can dislodge or damage both vertebrae and disc material. Damages can range from simple whiplash, which generally lasts for a couple of weeks, to major fractures and herniated discs requiring surgical interventions.
A previous BLOG discussed that in order to receive monetary compensation for a injury there must be proof of a serious injury as the LAW defines it. As neck & back injuries are very common, often the proof of serious injury comes from these very injuries. Medical records documenting & detailing various levels of spinal injury are often considered a “serious injury” under the law and result in successful cases and monetary recoveries.
TYPES OF SPINAL INJURIES:
Compression Fracture: A compression fracture is when the bones of the spine break due to severe trauma \ impact. In a compression fracture the bone tissue within the spine collapses on itself due to the severe force of a impact. Obviously, this a painful and severe injury and often leads to other injuries \ symptoms such as loss of sensation \ feeling, loss of range of motion in the affected area, damage to ligaments, nerve root damage, and spinal cord damage.
Treatment for compression fractures include rest, pain medications, bed confinement, and wearing a back brace. In the most serious cases, surgery may also be required.
Thoracic Spine Injury: The thoracic spine is located in the chest area and contains 12 vertebrae. Along with the rib cage, the thoracic spine protects many vital organs including the heart & lungs. Thoracic injuries are very common in high impact accidents such as auto accidents. These high impact accidents often result in thoracic herniated discs, bulging discs and fractures. The most common area of fracture is the lower thoracic spine at disc levels T11, T12, & L1. A serious thoracic injury can be life altering and result in permanent disability, nerve root damage, & paralysis.
Cervical Spine Injury: The NECK or cervical spine consists of 7 vertebrae (C1 to C7) which are separated by vertebral discs. The discs are jelly like and act as a type of shock absorber between the bones and allows the free and easy movement of the spine. As a majority of the bodies nerves pass through the neck area, a injury to the neck can be very painful & life altering. Neck fractures can result in long term issues and even paralysis. Neck herniation’s can result in nerve damage causing severe pain in the arms and neck, numbness and weakness in the arms and hands, and tingling in the hands & fingers. Treatment includes various forms of physical therapy & rest, and if the therapy is not successful than surgical intervention may be necessary.
Lumbar Spine Injury: The lower back or Lumbar spine consists of 5 vertebrae and disc material. The lumbar area is probably the most common area injured from falls & auto accidents. As the lumbar back supports the legs, injuries to the lumbar can effect the ability to walk and walk pain free. Herniations to the lumbar region can cause nerve damage and resultant pain, numbness, and weakness in the legs & feet. Lumbar injuries can be treated with therapy and surgery.
Obviously, an injury to the back has the potential to life altering and permanent. If you have injured your back as the result of an accident contact the attorneys at The Law Office of Frederick Altschuler with any questions or concerns you may have.