Spinal injuries are an often catastrophic result of accidents: motor vehicle accidents; truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents and; work accidents. It is important that victims of accidents and their personal injury attorneys are aware of the many types of brain injuries that may occur. Accident victims need to seek immediate medical attention whenever an injury to the back or neck occurs. As detailed below, not every spinal injury is immediately apparent. Delay in seeking medical treatment can result in an avoidable tragedy. I will spend the next few months, each Wednesday, detailing the cause and effects of each type of injury. Today’s blog is a general overview.
Spinal injuries include the following:
- Quadriplegia: also know as “tetraplegia”. Quadriplegia occurs when there is an injury to any of the seven (7) cervical vertebra above the first thoracic vertebrae.
- Paraplegia: is a form of paralysis of the lower portion of the human torso, from the waist down. It is different than quadriplegia, which is paralysis from the neck down.
- Herniated Disc and Bulging Disc: Herniated disc injuries are also know as “ruptured disc” and “bulging disc” injuries. These can be serious and life threatening back injuries, which are unfortunately quite common as a result of the g-forces involved in high or low speed motor vehicle accidents.
- Back Pain: Back pain is a sure sign that a accident victim has suffered a spinal cord injury of has a bulging or ruptured disc. Lower back pain is typically the locus of the pain.
- Facet Joint Syndrome and Chronic Pain: Facet joints connect the vertebrae in the spine. They allow twisting, bending and other movements and affect the range of movement as well as strength, flexibility and integrity. If they become inflamed due to a motor vehicle accident, arthritis can develop into chronic pain syndrome and cause lifetime pain and stiffness.
- Whiplash: This is the most common injury that occurs in a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash is an injury that occurs when the head is hurled backwards and then forward. This is a “hyperextension” injury from being jerked forward and a “hyperflexion” injury form being jerked backwards. These injuries can not only included spinal damage but may also be responsible for traumatic and mild traumatic brain injury.