What can be done to treat a spinal cord injury? How long will treatment take and will you ever fully recover? Each year, 10,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries are recorded in the US: 35.9% of which are the result of motor vehicle accidents. You are not alone in grappling with these questions and searching for answers from your doctor and spine injury attorney. Many doctors are not great doctors and you need a really good attorney to know which doctor to go to.
Spinal fractures are a common injury in automobile accidents. The National Institute of Health estimates that between 2000 to 4000 cases occur each year in frontal impact cases alone. Most fractures occur to the thoracic or lumbar vertebrae. It is theorized that these occur when the chest jerks forward in a collision and is restrained by the seatbelt. This transmits the energy of the collision into the spinal column causing the fracture. Many treatments involve allowing the fracture to heal naturally which can take up to three months. During this time, patients are often prescribed pain medication, back braces, and bed rest. For fractures that won't heal naturally or cause persistent pain, procedures including vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, or spinal fusion surgery are often recommended. These surgeries involve introducing bone cement into the fracture and allowing it to harden. Recovery from these surgeries can take between a few days to a few weeks depending on the age and health of the individual.
Herniated discs occur when the disc shifts and compresses nearby nerves in the process. This can radiate pain throughout the region or cause a general feeling of numbness. Physicians typically prescribe conservative therapies for four to six weeks following a herniated disc injury. These treatments can include over the counter pain medication, anti-inflammatory prescriptions, hot/cold therapy, physical therapy, and bed rest. If these fail, lumbar decompression surgery may be required. This involves removing a portion of the disc to relieve the pressure on the nerves. Recovery from this surgery can take several weeks to several months.
Type IIA, Type IIB, and Type IIC Spondylolisthesis can occur in an automobile accident. These occur when the hyperextension of the vertebra causes a fracture. These can be large or micro-fractures. As the bone heals, it effectively moves the spine out of alignment which can lead to pinching of the nerve and diminish an individual's mobility. Initial treatment can involve pain medication, hot/cold therapy, physical therapy, epidural injections, and Chiropractic care. This can last for as long as six months. If the condition doesn't heal by then, surgery may be required. Surgery can involve removing the scarred tissue, removing excess bone, and inserting screws to stabilize the spine.
Brad Pistotnik Law is a spine injury attorney who can help you pursue claims for these spinal cord injuries. Our firm represents car accident survivors and their families in Topeka, Wichita, Goodland, Kansas City, and elsewhere in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Individuals who experience a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident on I-35, I-70, US 54, US 183, or other roads in these states can pursue claims for medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and the pain and suffering they experience.
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