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Spinal fractures: Just how serious are they?

| Jul 1, 2021 | Auto Accident Injuries |

After being involved in a crash, you should know that there could be a risk of a spinal fracture. Spinal fractures could be very serious injuries that must be addressed as soon as possible. Since the spine is the basis for the entire bone structure of your body, any damage there could have serious implications for your health.

It’s important to note that spinal fractures do vary in severity. Some may not affect the structure of the spine in any significant way. Others, though, may lead to serious pain, dysfunction and ongoing frustration.

Where do most spinal fractures occur?

Most spinal fractures happen in the midback to lower back regions, also known as the thoracic and lumbar regions. The treatment that a patient needs will be determined by the severity of the facture as well as if there are other injuries that need attention.

Are fractures less serious than breaks?

No, this is a common misunderstanding. A fracture and break are the same thing. The terms are interchangeable. However, people generally assume that breaks are more serious than fractures, so this misunderstanding persists in society today.

If you have a fractured spine, there is a risk that the spinal cord could be involved. If so, then there could be additional symptoms to deal with, such as:

  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
  • Chronic pain
  • Pins and needles sensations

It’s important to seek medical attention right away if you have any change in feeling below the point of injury or if you are dealing with pain that is not letting up.

What happens after a person suffers a spinal injury?

At the scene of the car accident, the emergency team will take time to stabilize the patient and prevent further movement. The emergency medical service has to immobilize the patient to do this, usually by using a cervical collar and backboard. Then, at the hospital, a full trauma examination will occur.

After a spinal injury, there could be lasting consequences. It’s important to seek care and get treatment as soon as possible to mitigate the risk of lasting dysfunction or pain. Early treatment can help prevent further complications.

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