Suffering a spine injury can be a devastating and life-changing ordeal. Suddenly having any kind of disability can be confusing and terrifying, and acclimatizing to such a situation is no easy feat. You may find yourself wondering how your spinal cord injury will impact your daily routines, long-term happiness, relationships, and job. Recuperating from such an ordeal will definitely take a lot of willpower and time, but most paralyzed individuals proceed to lead very fulfilling and productive lives. In such a tumultuous period in your life, remaining motivated and getting the support you require is key. If you need spine injury treatment in Atlanta, you can rest easy knowing that we at Hurt 911 Injury Centers have the medical personnel and resources to make you better. Allow our doctors and physiotherapists to assist you in regaining independence and strength after your diagnosis. In some cases, patients experience improved mobility and functioning. To book an appointment, you can reach out to us at 855-475-2588.
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What Is the Structure of the Spinal Cord?The spinal cord is found between the brain and body and is the most integral component that holds the entire human body. It stretches out from the foramen magnum where it’s unbroken with the medulla to even the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebrae. The spinal cord forms a crucial connection between brain and body, and from the body all the way to the brain. This structure is 1 cm to 1.5 cm in terms of diameter and is 40 to 50 cm long. Two sequential nerve roots rows arise on the sides. These nerve roots distally link to create 31 spinal nerves pairs. The spinal cord is a rodlike assembly of nerve tissue made up of gray and white matter, arranged uniformly and is split into four parts: cervical (C), thoracic (T), lumbar (L), and sacral (S), with each section consisting of multiple segments. The spinal nerve comprises sensory and motor nerve fibers that spread out across the body.
What Is the Function of the Spinal Cord?The role of the spinal cord is to transmit signals from the brain to the body. It’s also responsible for relaying information from different parts of the body to the brain. The signals transmitted through the spinal cord are what enable us to move our limbs and perceive pain. If this structure suffers an injury, these signals may not be transmittable. The result of this is a total or complete loss of mobility and sensation.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?The spinal cord is extremely injury sensitive. Different from other body parts, this structure doesn’t have the capability of repairing itself once it suffers an injury. A spinal cord injury happens when the spinal cord suffers damage from either loss of blood supply, trauma, or compression from infection or tumor. In the U.S., there are roughly 12,000 new spinal cord injury cases yearly. Spine injuries are defined as either incomplete or complete. In the case of complete spinal injuries, there is a total loss of muscle functioning and sensation in the body part below the injury level. In an incomplete spine injury, there’s some residual functioning below the injury level. More often than not, both parts of the body are equally affected. A sustained injury to the upper spinal cord region in the neck can result in quadriplegia – this is where both legs and arms become paralyzed. If the injury happens in the lower back, it can result in paraplegia – only the legs get paralyzed.
What Are the Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries?A spine injury of any sort may lead to one or more of these symptoms:
- Loss of motion
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Altered or loss of sensation, including the ability to perceive cold, heat, and touch
- Exaggerated spasms or reflex activities
- Changes in sexual sensitivity, sexual functioning, and fertility
- Coughing, difficulty breathing, or clearing discharges from your lungs
- Difficulty with walking and balance
- Severe back pain or pressure in your back, head, or neck
- Incoordination, weakness, or paralysis in any body part
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Loss of sensation or numbness in your fingers, hands, toes, or feet
- Impaired breathing following injury
- Twisted or oddly set back or neck.
What Are Some Types of Spinal Cord Injury Treatments?Our team of spine specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and doctors work together to assist you to attain your optimum potential following injury. Each individual and spine injury is different; we aim to assist you to attain the best therapeutic outcome that is best for you. Here are some of the spinal cord injury treatments we deliver:
At the Scene of the AccidentPrompt medical attention is integral when it comes to reducing the effects of any neck or head trauma. Going with this premise, Spine Injury Treatment in Atlanta usually starts at the accident scene.
In the Emergency RoomWhile in the emergency room, doctors concentrate on:
- Preventing shock
- Ensure you’re breathing
- Restraining your neck to stop additional spine damage
- Preventing likely complications like urine or stool retention, and cardiovascular or respiratory difficulty
- When you sustain a spine injury, you’ll be admitted to the ICU to receive treatment
Ongoing TreatmentFollowing your injury or after your condition becomes stable, the attending physician will focus on averting secondary complications that are likely to arise like blood clots, respiratory infections, bladder and bowel issues, pressure ulcers, muscle contractures, and deconditioning. The duration you spend in the hospital largely depends on the medical complications you’re encountering. When you become fit to take part in treatment and therapies, you can be transferred to rehabilitation.
Supportive CareSupportive care has proven to minimize issues associated with mobility. It aims to return normal functioning and sensation. For some individuals, this may entail restoring the usage of their arms so they are able to write and eat by themselves. For others, it may entail walking or standing up again. You’ll also be provided with the necessary information you require to prevent complications.
Use of MedicationsMedications may be prescribed to help in managing some of the spinal cord injury effects. These may include medicine to control muscle spasticity and pain, as well as medicine to improve sexual functioning, bowel control, and bladder control.
Rehabilitative TreatmentsWhile you are in the initial stages of recuperating, our rehabilitation team will start working with you to help you get better. The team may consist of a recreation therapist, a dietitian, a social worker, a rehabilitation psychologist, a rehabilitation nurse, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and a spinal cord doctor. During the early rehabilitation stages, therapists often concentrate on maintaining and strengthening muscle functionality, developing fine motor function, and learning adaptive methods to perform daily tasks.
What Are Some of the Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?Spine injuries may arise from damage to the ligaments, vertebrae, or disks of the spinal cord or spinal column. A spine injury may arise from an injury to your backbone that dislocates, fractures, compresses or crushes your vertebrae. Further damage often happens over weeks or days due to inflammation, swelling, bleeding, and accumulation of fluid in and around your spine. A non-traumatic spine injury may result from infections, inflammation, cancer, arthritis, or spinal disk degeneration. Here are the most prevalent causes of spinal cord injuries:
- Auto accidents: Motorcycle and auto accidents are the top cause of spine injuries, taking up almost half of all spine injuries every year.
- Falls: Spine injuries after 65 years usually occur as a result of a fall. In general, falls account for around 31% of spine injuries.
- Acts of violence: More than 13% of spine injuries arise from acts of violence, most frequently relating to gunshot wounds. Other acts of violence are knife wounds.
- Sports & recreation injuries: Sports activities like diving in shallow water and impact sports, cause around 10% of spine injuries.
- Alcohol: Alcohol plays a role in around 1 out of each 4 spine injuries.
- Disease: Osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, and inflammation in the spine can lead to spine injuries