Holiday Spinal Cord Injury Doctor
A spinal cord injury is one of the most serious afflictions a person may suffer. However, not all spinal cord injuries result in paralysis. While thousands of people each year are paralyzed from accidents damaging the spinal cord, many more experience spinal cord injuries due to normal wear and tear on the body.
Any sort of neurological issue, regardless of whether back pain is also present, may indicate some form of spine injury. A Holiday spinal cord injury doctor can help determine the location and cause of your spinal cord injury and devise a treatment plan.
When most people think of spinal cord injuries, think of injuries that most often occur after motor vehicle accidents, severe sports injuries, falls and other traumas. These types of spinal cord injuries may result in paralysis, either paraplegia, where the patient cannot move beneath the waist, or quadriplegia, where the person cannot move anything beneath the neck.
Common Symptoms of Back Injuries
Spinal compression is the cause of many non-traumatic spinal cord injuries. Various conditions can put pressure on the spinal cord. Symptoms may appear suddenly or develop and worsen over time. Spinal cord compression symptoms, besides pain, include:
- Difficulties with balancing or walking
- Back or neck stiffness
- Hand coordination problems
- Loss of sensation
- Sexual dysfunction
- Foot drop – limping caused by weakness in the foot
Loss of bladder or bowel function may also occur in spinal cord compression, or in a related issue known as cauda equina syndrome. Patients losing their ability to control elimination must seek immediate medical help.
Spinal Cord Fractures
If a spinal vertebrae fractures, injuries to the spinal cord may result. Vertebral compression fractures generally occur mid-spine. Besides pain, symptoms of vertebral compression fractures include numbness and limited mobility.
Older people with osteoporosis are especially vulnerable to vertebral compressions fractures and aged women suffering from kyphosis are at an even greater risk. Known colloquially as “dowager’s hump,” kyphosis may cause not only spinal compression but also compression of the heart and lungs.
Diagnosing a Spinal Cord Injury in Holiday
A Holiday spinal cord injury doctor uses various tools to diagnose patients with spinal cord compression symptoms. After an initial physical examination and a conversation with the patient, the doctor will X-ray the spine.
Such X-rays may reveal bone spurs pushing on the spinal cord, broken vertebrae, or any alignment disorders. An MRI or CT scan is performed to view other structures around the spine, including a tumor, abscess, or hematoma. Other diagnostic tests may include a bone scan or testing of muscle activity via an electromyograph (EMG). After a diagnosis is determined, a treatment plan begins. For some patients, that means surgery, but others may do well with pain medication and/or physical therapy.
Consult with a Spinal Cord Injury Doctor in Holiday
Any type of traumatic spinal cord injury, such as one occurring after a car crash, requires a visit to the emergency room. Many longer-term spinal cord injuries, such as those involving spinal compression, are diagnosed by the patient’s physician. If you or a loved are suffering from back pain, numbness, or experience any symptoms relating to possible spinal cord injury, call a Holiday spinal cord injury doctor as soon as possible to schedule a consultation.