Florida Spinal Cord Injury Doctor
The term “spinal cord injury” brings to mind patients suffering a traumatic injury resulting in paralysis. That is one of the worst-case scenarios for a spinal cord injury, but many people develop non-traumatic spinal cord injuries that are much more treatable.
If you are suffering from certain spinal conditions, whether the symptoms came on quickly or gradually, you need an examination and correct diagnosis. A Florida spinal cord injury doctor can conduct tests and pinpoint your problems, leading to the right treatment for your condition. Work with a skilled spine surgeon that could help.
Common Conditions Causing Injuries
Various factors may cause spinal cord compression, which disturbs its ability to function properly. According to the Merck Manual, the following disorders may put pressure on the spinal cord:
- Abscesses – the infection causes pus pockets to form in and around the spinal cord
- Blood – in the form of hematomas, generally occurring after an injury
- Broken vertebrae
- Hardening of connective tissue – especially common in older people
- Herniated discs
- Scoliosis – or other types of spinal misalignment
- Tumors – malignant or benign
Patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis are more vulnerable to spinal cord compression issues, as are older individuals with osteoarthritis.
Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome affects the nerve roots at the lower end of the spinal cord, roughly correlating to where someone would sit in a saddle, hence the name. If these roots become compressed, movement and feeling can be affected.
While the loss of bladder and bowel function is a primary symptom of cauda equina syndrome, it is not the only one. Lack of sensation in the legs, buttocks, thighs, and feet may indicate the condition. Without prompt treatment, cauda equina syndrome may become irreversible.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
Besides paralysis for severe injuries, spinal cord injury symptoms may include:
- Back pain
- Bladder and bowel control issues
- Erectile dysfunction
- Foot drop – weakness in the foot or feet
- Hand coordination problems
- Muscle weakness
- Strange sensations
Just because some of these symptoms are mild does not mean a spinal cord injury is not a possibility. Any problem with bowel or bladder control requires immediate medical attention.
Receiving Treatment in Florida
A Florida spinal cord injury doctor can review a patient’s medical history, perform a physical examination, and conduct diagnostic tests to determine the root of the problem. Such testing generally includes X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and bone scans.
Pain location is also a telltale sign of what type of spinal cord issue is affecting the patient. Depending on the diagnosis, surgery may prove necessary. Some causes, such as hematomas or abscesses, may resolve with drainage.
Tumors require a biopsy and the patient may need surgery accompanied by radiation therapy. In some instances, a course of intravenous corticosteroids is administered, to act as quickly as possible to alleviate spinal cord swelling.
Patients may also receive pain relievers in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). For some patients, physical therapy is to strengthen muscles.
Speaking with a Florida Spinal Cord Injury Doctor
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms of a possible spinal cord injury, you need to consult with a seasoned Florida spinal cord injury doctor. If your injury started after trauma, such as a fall, go to an emergency room at once. Otherwise, call today and arrange an appointment.