Information About Injuries and Spinal Cord Compression in Arizona
Being involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident, trucking accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, can cause a serious spinal cord compression injury. As Arizona personal injury lawyers, we see clients all the time who have sustained serious injuries from these types of accidents.
Spinal cord compression or cervical spondylotic myelopathy is one of the most common neck conditions that occurs with age. Over time normal wear and tear can lead to the narrowing of the spinal cord. This compresses or squeezes the spinal cord, which can cause pain, numbness, and weakness. Symptoms such as these can onset when someone is involved in an accident, especially a motor vehicle accident.
The disk acts as a shock absorber between the bones in the neck. Normal gelatin-like center of the disk degenerates and the space between the vertebrae narrows. As the disk space narrows there is more pressure. The cervical disk may also protrude and put pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, this is known as a herniated cervical disk. Several types of injuries can cause spinal cord compression because of the necks flexibility and because it supports the head it is very vulnerable to injury. Motor vehicle accidents, diving accidents, and falls can result in neck injuries. The regular use of seat belts in motor vehicles helps to minimize neck and head injuries. A rear-end crash in Arizona can result in the backward motion of the neck beyond its normal limits. Most common neck injuries involve soft tissues like the muscles and ligaments. Severe neck injuries with the fracture or dislocation of the beck may damage the spinal cord and cause paralysis.
Symptoms of spinal cord compression include tingling, numbness, weakness, loss of balance and difficulty walking, coordination problems, and neck pain and stiffness. Doctors will examine a patient's neck and take X-rays. MRI's or CT scans to see the extent of the injuries.
Non surgical treatment includes the use of soft collars which allow the muscles of the neck to rest and limit neck motion. Soft collars should only be worn for short periods of time because long term wear can decrease the strength of neck muscles. Exercise is an excellent way to improve neck strength and flexibility. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to reduce swelling and symptoms. Many doctors prescribe epidural steroid injections to decrease pain and swelling. Chiropractic manipulation is also recommended in many injuries.
We have seen many clients who have experienced permanent pain injuries as a result of the negligence of another individual. Epidural injections seem to help many clients and it is certainly something that patients might want to consider talking to their doctor about when discussing the progress of their medical care as a result of the accident.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer