Common Spinal Injuries from Car Accidents

February 23, 2024

By Grossman Green PLLC

Car accidents can have devastating consequences, leaving victims with a range of injuries. One of the most serious of these is spinal injuries, which can cause long-term damage to a person’s health and well-being.

That’s why it’s so important to seek immediate medical attention after a car accident. With the right care, some can recover from these injuries and return to their normal lives, but it’s crucial to act quickly. In this article, we’ll explore the various types of spinal injuries that can occur in car accidents.

6 Common Spinal Injuries from Car Accidents

  1. Spinal Fracturesspinal fracture is a serious injury that can occur anywhere along the spine. This occurs when there is a dislocation or a vertebrae (backbone) fracture. Typically, this type of injury is caused by high-velocity impacts like car accidents, falls, or sports-related injuries. Most spinal fractures can be healed with rest and medication.However, severe fractures may require surgery to realign the bones. If left untreated, spinal fractures can lead to permanent spinal cord injury, nerve damage, and even paralysis.
  1. Whiplash
    Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when your neck is abruptly jerked forwards or backwards. This can happen in a variety of situations, but it is most frequently seen in car accidents where there is sudden acceleration or deceleration.For example, a rear-end collision is a frequent cause of whiplash. Depending on the severity of your injury, there are a variety of treatment options available, including medication, cervical neck collars, and physical therapy.
  1. Sprains & Strains
    Sprains and strains are another common back injury in car accidents. While they may sound similar, they are distinct issues. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched or torn, while a strain involves damage to a muscle or tendon. Ligaments connect bones at a joint and limit movement, while tendons link muscles to bones and support movement. Back strains can result from twisting, pulling, or tearing the muscles and tendons that support the spine.While some sprains and strains can typically improve in a few weeks, it is still important to seek medical attention to have your injuries thoroughly evaluated. For example, in certain situations, symptoms can continue after a few weeks, and can even be permanent, indicating that additional treatment may be required.
  1. Spinal Cord Injuries
    The spinal cord serves as the messenger between the brain and the rest of the body. Any damage to it can result in a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries typically lead to permanent changes in body functioning, such as decreased strength and altered sensation below the injury site. Apart from these physical consequences, people affected by this injury may experience mental, emotional, and social side effects as well.Spinal cord injuries range in the level of how much sensation has been lost. This is known as “completeness.”Completeness is classified between the following terms:

    • Complete: An injury is considered complete if all feeling and ability to control movement is lost below the spinal cord injury.
    • Incomplete: While there are varying degrees of incomplete spinal cord injuries, incomplete means that there is some feeling and control of movement below the affected area.

    While there currently is no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord, there are many methods of treatment implemented to help prevent further injury and provide people with empowerment to return to a productive life.

  1. Herniated Discs
    Known by several names such as a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk is when the soft core of a spinal disk experiences an issue. These spinal discs are soft cushions that sit between the bones that make up the spine. When one is herniated, the nucleus (center) of the spinal disk pushes out through a tear in its protective layer, the annulus.This condition can result in pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg, depending on where the herniation takes place. Treatment options can range from medications and physical therapy to surgery in severe cases.
  1. Spondylolisthesis
    Spondylolisthesis is a condition that affects the stability of the spine, causing the vertebrae to move more than they should. For example, a vertebra can slip out of place and onto the one below it. As a result, this can put pressure on a nerve and cause lower back pain or leg pain.The treatment for this condition varies according to the severity of the slippage, symptoms, age, and overall health of the patient. It is important to discuss treatment options with a healthcare provider, as medication, physical therapy, or surgery may be necessary to alleviate the symptoms effectively.

Suffered a Spinal Injury? Call Us

Car accidents can result in serious spinal cord injuries that can cause excruciating pain and limit your physical mobility. These injuries can be severe and may require extensive medical treatment, leading to high medical bills and lost wages.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spine injury due to someone else’s negligence, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance from a highly experienced spinal cord injury attorney. At Grossman Green PLLC, our attorneys will put their knowledge and skills to work to help you pursue the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery.

Contact our firm at (502) 215-3344 or send us a message online.