Dunedin Spinal Cord Injury Doctor
Many people think of paralysis when thinking of spinal cord injuries. However, these are just the worst types of spinal cord injuries. Most spinal cord injuries are far less severe but still should be diagnosed and treated.
A Dunedin spinal cord injury doctor can help diagnose your problem and determine the best treatment for your specific circumstances. Do not let an injury be left untreated; a skilled doctor could help.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Not all spinal cord injuries are traumatic. Some are not even the result of a motor vehicle accident or an event of similar impact. These traumatic spinal cord injuries require emergency medical treatment at a hospital. Many patients, however, develop non-traumatic spinal cord injuries, which may or may not require surgery depending on the specific circumstances.
One common non-traumatic spinal cord injury is spinal cord compression. This occurs when anything puts pressure on the spinal cord and may occur anywhere from the neck – the cervical region – to the lower back, or lumbar area. Symptoms of spinal cord compression may develop gradually or suddenly, and include:
- Hand coordination problems
- Loss of sensation, especially in the feet
- Sexual dysfunction
A condition related to spinal cord compression, cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency. Symptoms include loss of bladder or bowel control, severe numbness in the affected areas and difficulty walking or otherwise moving. However, a person should seek spinal cord injury treatment from a Dunedin doctor regardless of the severity of their symptoms.
Seeking Treatment in Dunedin
When determining treatment, the spinal cord injury doctor in Dunedin performs a thorough physical examination and asks detailed questions about the person’s symptoms and overall medical history. They may also order various tests, including:
- X-rays – these radiographs will show whether bone spurs are pressing against spinal nerves, or whether there is abnormal spinal alignment
- MRI – this imaging test allows the doctor to view the spinal cord in detail
The doctor may then prescribe steroids to reduce spinal cord swelling and either prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen for pain relief. They may also create a physical therapy regimen and order the patient to wear a back brace to treat the condition.
If surgery is necessary, a doctor may be able to provide comfort with a minimally invasive treatment. This may include a treatment such as injections or a slightly more involved spinal cord fusion. In this procedure, the doctor fuses injured vertebrae together to help ease the pain. However, the specific treatments that are appropriate will depend on the injury.
A Dunedin Doctor Can Discuss Spinal Cord Injuries
If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate a spinal cord injury, it is important to discuss treatments with a qualified doctor. Call today and arrange an appointment. A Dunedin spinal cord injury doctor could answer any questions you have about your condition and treatment protocol, so you can make informed decisions about your recovery.