Trinity Spinal Cord Injury Doctor
Some types of spinal cord injuries are subtle, and the damage to the spinal cord may occur over time rather than suddenly. If you are experiencing back pain, numbness, and loss of sensation, you could have less obvious spinal cord injuries. A Trinity spinal cord injury doctor can work with you to help diagnose your injury. After that, they can create an appropriate treatment plan to help you recover from your injury
Causes of Injuries
Spinal stenosis causes narrowing of the spaces within the spine, thus pressuring the spinal cord. The condition occurs most often in seniors, as spinal stenosis results from osteoarthritis’ wear and tear.
Spinal stenosis usually occurs in either the neck, where it is known as cervical stenosis or the lower back, as lumbar stenosis. The latter is the more common of the two. Suspect spinal stenosis when the following symptoms appear:
- Walking and balancing issues
- Loss of sensation
- Weakness in the legs, feet, arms or hands
Some patients may experience difficulty controlling their bowels or bladder. These symptoms, whether from spinal stenosis or another cause, such as cauda equina syndrome, always require emergency medical treatment.
Spinal Cord Compression
Other conditions may cause spinal cord compression. Anything that puts pressure on the spinal cord may compress it, resulting in the spinal cord having problems receiving “messages” from the brain. Spinal cord compression may result from trauma, but it can also occur due to infection as when an abscess forms, from a bone fragment from a broken vertebra, or from tumors, hematomas, or herniated discs. Symptoms of spinal cord compression include:
- Neck or back stiffness
- Numbness in the legs or thighs
- Losing coordination of fine motor skills
Treating a Back Injury in Trinity
A Trinity spinal cord injury doctor performs a physical examination and asks the patients about their symptoms, when they began, and other questions relating to the patient’s medical history. The patient undergoes a series of diagnostic tests, including X-rays, MRIs and/or CT scans and bone scans. Treatment for a spinal cord compression or similar issue depends on the severity and the cause.
For example, if an abscess if the culprit, the doctor will drain the abscess and prescribe antibiotics. A tumor requires a biopsy and testing to see if it is malignant or benign. If the former, excision, radiation, and chemotherapy may prove necessary. Some conditions may require surgery, while others respond to physical therapy, the injection of corticosteroids to reduce swelling, and pain medication.
Surgery may resolve problems of space between the vertebrae or bone fragments or spurs pressuring the spinal cord. Some surgeries, such as those involving herniated or degenerated discs, are minimally invasive, and patient recovery time is relatively fast.
Talking to a Spinal Cord Injury Doctor in Trinity
Not every spinal cord injury involves partial or complete paralysis. Those types of spinal cord injuries usually result from a motor vehicle accident or some other type of trauma and the patient requires immediate treatment at an emergency hospital. However, even minor spinal cord injuries require medical care.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a possible non-traumatic spinal cord injury, call a Trinity spinal cord injury doctor at once and arrange an appointment. If paralysis occurs or if you cannot control your bowel or bladder function, head to an emergency room at once.