A spinal cord injury is quite common in car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents. In cases of a bad slip and fall or fall from high heights, a person could also suffer this injury. A spinal cord injury is quite severe and impacts a victim’s life in the worst way possible. Not only does it have physical life-altering implications, but it also carries emotional scars and financial bills.
The only way to mitigate the lifelong impact of a spinal cord injury is by getting immediate treatment and sticking with the treatment plan. This article explores what treatment you can get for a spinal cord injury. Suppose you suffer this injury after an accident. In that case, our specialist doctors at Georgia Injury Centers will provide you the best care to help you get back the semblance of everyday life.
How Do Doctors Diagnose a Spinal Cord Injury?
As an excellent doctor knows, the first step to diagnosing a spinal cord injury is looking at the patient’s medical history and physical examination. Unfortunately, it’s possible for emergency room doctors to miss the early tell-tale signs of this injury type. Hence, your treating physician will ask you questions surrounding the time of the injury.
The period since the injury is crucial because a spinal cord wound is a medical emergency. Also, the faster you get treated, the more your chances of recovering. Next, the doctor will examine your back and neck to see if you feel pain. If you have or have felt weakness in the arms or leg, loss of bladder control, loss of sensation in the arm or leg, you likely have a spinal cord injury.
During the examination, the doctor might keep you immobilized and ask you to wear a cervical collar. Next, they will order an x-ray of your back or neck to identify any fractured or dislocated vertebrae. However, note that you can have a spinal cord injury without injured vertebrae. In addition, x-rays can identify a tumor, infection, or severe arthritis that can cause a spinal injury.
Furthermore, the doctor will order a computed tomography (CT) scan for a more advanced viewing of the spinal cord. Lastly, you may undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to evaluate the soft tissues. The latter includes the ligaments, intervertebral discs, nerves, and spinal cord.
What Are the Available Spinal Cord Injury Treatments?
There are different treatment options for a spinal cord injury. The type you get depends primarily on the severity or extent of your injury. Treatment for spinal cord wounds starts from the accident scene. The first step is for emergency responders to verify that the patient is breathing. If not, the patient may need a breathing tube or use a ventilator.
The next step in the treatment is the immobilization of the patient. Here, the emergency medics will place the patient in a cervical collar or on a backboard to help keep the spine in one place. If the person has a spinal cord injury, any further movement could cause more damage.
Once the patient gets to the hospital and receives a spinal cord injury diagnosis, their treating physician will place them on a high steroids dose. The medication helps decrease the damage to the spinal cord by reducing inflammation and swelling. Note that using steroids comes with risks, and you and your doctor can decide whether to go with it.
Another option is to place the patient in traction or a halo device to stabilize the spine. This also prevents further damage. If none of this works, the last option, surgery, comes in. Generally, many spinal cord injury victims undergo surgery.
At Georgia Injury Centers, we recommend surgery to:
- Relive any pressure on the spine; this could be by removing portions of broken vertebrae compressing the spinal cord.
- Stabilize the spine if a fracture weakens the vertebrae. If needed, our doctors will attach a combination of rods, metal screws, and plates to hold the vertebrae together and stabilize them until the bones heal.
Most people shy away from surgery because there are several complications like infections and blood clots. However, these risks are manageable. After all these treatments, the next step is rehabilitation and helping the patient manage their function through physical and occupational therapy.
If You Are Suffering From a Spinal Cord Injury Contact Us Today!
At Georgia Injury Centers, we have a team of specialist doctors available 24/7 to attend to patients. So rather than waiting around for general practitioners to diagnose and treat you, you can get the best help from us. In addition, we will maximize your recovery. Finally, if someone caused your wound, we’ll ensure you get compensation by linking you to a personal injury lawyer. So, schedule an appointment with us today by calling 855-475-2588 or filling out a contact form here.