Odessa Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries often prove devastating. Such injuries may result from trauma, disease, or old-fashioned wear-and-tear. In a worst-case scenario, a patient with spinal cord injuries faces the loss of mobility and feeling, resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Many patients with spinal cord injuries do not suffer these types of overwhelming and permanent disability, but they do experience significant pain and lesser quality of life. A skilled Odessa spinal cord injury surgeon can help those battling such issues with state-of-the-art techniques and care.
Spinal Cord Injury Considerations
The most severe spinal cord injuries are either incomplete or complete. In an incomplete injury, patients have some feeling and motor function below the affected area. With a complete injury, there is no motor function or feeling below that region.
When someone suffers a severe spinal cord injury from an accident, it is usually obvious immediately or within a short time that something is seriously wrong. Besides the loss of feeling and motor function, symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Breathing difficulties
- Sexual dysfunction
- Intense pressure in the head and/or neck
- Loss of coordination
- Difficulty walking.
Traumatic spinal cord injuries require emergency treatment. Time is of the essence, and chances and levels of recovery depend on the patient getting to the hospital immediately. Rehabilitation is extensive and lifelong. Modern technology allows traumatic spinal cord injury victims to experience a somewhat better quality of life than previous generations, and spinal cord research is ongoing.
Spinal Cord Issues and Treatment
Not all spinal cord issues result from trauma, such as motor vehicles accidents or falls. Tumors, infections, fractures, herniated discs and other matters affecting the spinal cord can cause serious pain and mobility issues, leading to partial or complete disability.
Fortunately, patients have a wide choice of treatment options, from minimally invasive treatments for some spinal cord difficulties to more conventional, open back surgery. Physical therapy is often part of successful spinal cord treatment and pain relief. Spinal injury treatments include:
Discectomy – surgical removal of a herniated disc
Microdiscectomy – minimally invasive procedure removing herniated disc material
Percutaneous discectomy – very minimally invasive procedure, using only a guided needle, to relieve pain from a bulging but not ruptured herniated disc
Disc replacement – replacement of the herniated, protruding disc that irritates spinal nerves with an artificial disc
Kyphoplasty – a minimally invasive procedure for treating a spinal compression fracture. Osteoporosis is the usual cause of such breaks
Laminectomy – surgical removal of the lamina, the back vertebrae covering the spinal canal. Removal relieves nerve pressure on the spinal cord
Spinal fusion – a surgical procedure to fuse the small bones of the spine
Joint injections – for pain relief
Epidural steroid injections – for pain relief
Minimally invasive procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. Patients generally heal more quickly, and there is less risk of infection and blood loss. Not all patients with spine injuries are candidates for minimally invasive surgery.
Working with an Odessa Spine Surgeon
Advanced treatments may help relieve the pain of your spinal cord injury. Contact an Odessa spinal surgeon as soon as possible to learn about spinal cord injury treatment procedures and the best options for your situation.