Spinal Cord Injuries in Children
Whenever someone sustains a spinal cord injury, it is always a serious issue. The spinal cord is a delicate collection of nerves that run from the bottom of the brain (the brainstem) down through the back and into the pelvis. Along the way, the nerves exit the spinal cord and power every cell in the body. Unfortunately, these nerves are also prone to injury. Like other nerve injuries, trauma to the spinal cord can lead to permanent complications. These injuries also occur in children. According to some statistics that have been put together by the American Spinal Injury Association:
- Close to one out of every five spinal cord injuries occur in children under the age of 18.
- If a spinal cord injury occurs before a child has started puberty, it leads to scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine) in almost every case.
- Spinal cord injuries are more common in male children than female children.
- The most common reason that children develop complications of their spinal cord injuries is because of noncompliance with their medical regimen.
- Overall, about one out of every 50,000 children will be diagnosed with a spinal cord injury.
- Close to 1,500 kids are admitted to hospitals in this country every year because of a spinal cord injury.
- Auto accidents are the most common reason why children sustain a spinal cord injury, followed by slip and fall injuries.
- Children have a better chance of recovering from a spinal cord injury than adults.
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries in children are more common than many people realize. These can be devastating injuries not only for a child but also for family members.
A Case Report: Spondylolisthesis and Paralysis
A recent case report was published about a child who sustained a serious spinal cord injury. A young boy was riding his scooter through the neighborhood. A teenage driver was speeding through the neighborhood in the afternoon and struck the child. The boy flew off of the scooter and landed on the pavement. Fortunately, he was wearing a helmet. He was taken to a hospital and was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury. An MRI revealed a dislocation of two vertebrae at the lumbar level with a transaction of the spinal cord. The child was ultimately paralyzed from the waist down but did regain a minimal level of function of the legs with intense physical therapy.
Recovery from a Spinal Cord Injury
When someone has sustained a spinal cord injury, particularly if that person is a child, the recovery process can be long and arduous. It is important to diagnose and treat this injury as quickly as possible. The earlier the treatment starts, the better the chance of recovery. Some treatments of spinal cord injuries in children include:
- Swelling must be reduced in the spinal cord to relieve pressure on the nerves.
- Sometimes, surgery is required to repair the vertebrae, particularly if the vertebrae have been broken or displaced.
- Physical therapy is a must so that the nerves can regain some of the function that has been lost.
- The earlier physical therapy is started, the more likely it is that the nerves can recover.
The logistics of coordinating care following a spinal cord injury in a child can be challenging. It is important for parents to know where they can turn for assistance during their time of need.
- Pediatric Vertebral Dislocation can occur in an Auto Accident
- Back Disorders and Motor Vehicle Accidents
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Spinal cord injuries in children can lead to permanent complications. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am honored to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
All of my visitors are encouraged to read through our verdicts or settlements here.
Pediatric Spinal Cord Injuries/AutoAccident.com
Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Pediatric Spinal Cord Injuries.
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