Articles Posted in Spine Injury

Functional Outcomes in Spinal Cord Injuries
Functional Outcomes in Spinal Cord Injuries

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. The biggest question often posed is whether or not the patient will walk again.  In general, the level of spinal cord injury and the ASIA impairment scale predict functional outcomes.  Factors like other illnesses often affect the functional outcome of the patient.

Shortened length of stays in the hospital and rehab facility have impacted rehabilitation medicine.  The average length of stay in the acute hospital has decreased from 25 days in 1973 to 19 days in 2002.  In the same time, the length of stay in a rehab facility has decreased from 122 days to only 46 days. a Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney, and Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer, I have represented many people over the years who have suffered horrible spine injuries.  Injures to the spinal cord can be devastating both to those who have suffered the trauma, as well as their loved ones.

Next Generation Wheelchairs Helps People with Spinal Cord Injuries

I am thrilled to learn that the next generation in wheelchairs is helping people stand up whenever they want, thanks to a new robotic device called Tek RMD.  The new technology is a Segway-like device which allows people with spinal cord injuries to stand and move upright.

Lower Back Injuries and the Long-Term Consequences

Dysphagia Post Cervical Spinal Fusion

Severe injury to the neck may require a surgical intervention called cervical spinal fusion.  This surgery joins damaged vertebrae in the cervical spine.  How this surgery is accomplished depends on your particular injury and the surgeon.  The cervical spinal fusion may entail one or a more of the following scenarios:

  • Removal of an entire cervical vertebra and then fusing the spine.

Types of Injuries Associated with Falls

Common  Fractures after a Motor Vehicle Accident

Common Fractures occur in Motor vehicle accidents with high-velocity impacts. There can be  fractures to many different bones throughout the body.  Often, fractures can be found from head to toe, depending on where the impact was and where the individual was located in the vehicle.  Those passengers or the driver with an airbag tend to suffer less from head, neck,  and chest fractures but they are still possible, especially if the individual isn’t seat-belted properly.

Skull Fractures

When a person has spinal pain, plain film x-rays can be done that will show the outline of the bone and will detect the presence of bone spurs in facet joint disease. Discs, however, are made of soft tissue and are not detected on plain films. Plain films can, however, show narrowing of the disc space as is seen in degeneration of the discs.

A CT scan or MRI scan of the body can show a great many more things than a plain x-ray. These can show disc material impinging upon the spinal cord or on the spinal nerves. They can also show the presence of bone spurs at the level of the facet joints.

A CT myelogram can show fine detail by injecting a dye into the intrathecal space around the spinal cord. Areas of defect are revealed as places where the disc has herniated into the spinal canal or near the spinal nerves.

Spinal Anatomy

The spine consists of 33 separate bones that are carefully stacked one on top of the other. There are multiple muscles and ligaments that keep the bones in their correct alignment so that the spine can be the main supporting portion of the body. It allows for being able to bend, twist, and stand upright, and it protects the spinal cord from damage by creating a cage around it with various processes in the vertebrae.

Each of the vertebrae is different and they allow for a normal spinal curvature. There is a curve in the neck, a slight kyphosis, or reverse curvature of the thorax and a curve in the lumbar spine. It is the responsibility of the lumbar spine to bear the brunt of the weight of the body. The average vertebra has a cylindrically-shaped body, a posterior spinous process, two lateral transverse processes and two upper and lower processes for articulating the vertebrae to one another.

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