Vertebral Injuries Due to Accidents

I’m Brian Ricci a personal injury attorney in Greenville, NC. It protects your spinal cord from damage, and does a good job of it. But it’s no match for the forces that get generated by car accidents and work related injuries. A tap on your bumper at 25 mph is enough to cause the spine to get pushed out of alignment, and fractures are a real risk at higher speeds. You should always practice safe driving skills when you’re behind the wheel of your car for personal use or while on the job. You never know who might run into you while you’re driving around Greenville.

Understanding Vertebral Fractures

Vertebral fractures occur in many different ways, but the more common ones include compression, burst, and wedge.

  • Wedge fracture: This is the most common type of fracture. The front of the vertebra collapses while leaving the rear intact, creating a wedge shape. A wedge compression fracture, which is slightly different than a regular wedge fracture, is typically mechanically stable and won’t suffer from further changes that result in more damage.
  • Crush fracture: When the vertebra gets a fracture that goes from front to back or top to bottom, it’s called a crush fracture. This is also a stable fracture and may not require surgical intervention, but may require some form of treatment for pain relief.
  • Burst fracture: A burst fracture gets its name from the collapse of the vertebra. The vertebra shatters into small pieces which are then driven into the tissues that surround the spine and/or spinal cord. This is the most serious type of fracture due to the potential for an exposed spinal cord and are not known to be stable. A burst fracture requires immediate medical attention to stabilize and protect the spinal cord from further damage.

All of these fractures can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that exit out between each vertebrae. You might experience radiating pain, numbness or sharp tingling in your extremities, or loss of range of motion. Surgical repair may be necessary to prevent the vertebrae from damaging the spinal cord or from improper healing.

Diagnosing and Treating a Spinal Injury

Spinal injuries are nothing to take lightly. What you think is a simple pain in the neck could actually be a vertebral fracture in the cervical spine. Or it could be a muscle spasm from the result of a fracture that’s pulling on your lumbar spine. You need to see a physician the moment you realize you’re suffering back or neck pain after an accident or from repetitive stress at work. The best course of action is to go to the emergency room after an accident for X-rays and scans. Getting a proper diagnosis of vertebral fractures is important in order to prevent more problems from setting in as time passes.

Treatment ranges anywhere from minor intervention in the form of pain relief and medication indicated for treatment of spinal fractures to surgical intervention to stabilize the vertebrae. Stable fractures may undergo monitoring for a period of time to make sure the vertebra heals properly. The type of treatment used is dependent on the type of fracture the physician uncovers.

Greenville, NC Back Injury Attorneys

I’m Brian Ricci, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Greenville, NC. If you have suffered a ruptured disc or other personal injury, please call me anytime at (252) 777-2222 or (888) 484-6881 for free, friendly advice. Let’s go over the details of your accident case over the phone and see how best to proceed. The call is free and there is no obligation to you.

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