A spine injury is an injury to the spinal column. It can affect ligaments, bones, nerve endings.
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Spine injuries are one of the most difficult and dangerous injuries of the musculoskeletal system. As a rule, 90% of spinal injuries are the result of an accident (accident, fall from a height, injury).
The remaining 10% are non-traumatic injuries (osteoporosis, neoplasms, diseases of the hematopoietic system, and sometimes infections).
Depending on the type of spinal injury, the symptoms can be both acute and severe, or insignificant. These include:
- Pain ranges from mild in minor injuries to severe in severe injuries.
- The unnatural posture of the patient – often indicates a fracture or complex dislocation of the joints of the spine.
- Violation of sensitivity or motor activity – with damage to the spinal cord.
CAUSES Spinal Injury
Spinal injury can result from falls from a height, accidents, injuries during sports, etc.
In older people, even minor injuries such as falls can cause serious injury. This is due to previous degenerative changes in the spine (osteoporosis, tumours, etc.)
There are many types of spinal injuries: bruises and fractures, ligament ruptures, dislocations and subluxations, displacement of the vertebrae (spondylolisthesis).
Also, injuries are divided into:
- uncomplicated (no spinal cord injury);
- complicated (with damage).
In this case, damage to the spinal cord can be both reversible and irreversible.
SYMPTOMS of spinal injury
The main symptoms of a spine injury are:
- pain in the area of damage;
- restriction of movement;
- bruising, bruising, skin swelling may occur.
With moderate damage to the nerve fibres, numbness, tingling of the extremities may occur.
Symptoms of a spinal injury aggravated by spinal cord injury can vary from minor movement disorders to complete paralysis, gastrointestinal tract disorders, etc.
DIAGNOSTICS AND TREATMENT
If you suspect a spinal injury, see your doctor immediately. The diagnosis is made on the basis of the patient’s examination, history, complaints and the results of instrumental studies.
During the first visit, the doctor examines the patient and directs them for X-ray, CT scan or MRI. In difficult cases, one type of diagnosis may not be enough and the specialist may prescribe different types of examination.
If you suspect a spinal injury, the doctor will refer you to the following tests:
- Magnetic resonance imaging;
- CT scan;
- angiography (examination of vessels with a contrast agent).
There are many ways to treat the spine. First aid helps prevent serious complications. Further therapy may include:
- taking medications to help protect the spinal cord and relieve the patient from pain;
- conservative treatment of injuries (for example, compression injury of the spine, like some other types of injuries, is treated by fixing the damaged area);
- surgical intervention – used in difficult cases.
Treatment tactics depend on the nature, location and severity of the injury. Conservative techniques are used for minor injuries, as well as supportive therapy.
Also, the wearing of special corrective devices (collars, corsets) is often prescribed.
Surgical operations are aimed at decompressing the spinal cord and restoring normal blood supply. Also, reconstructive interventions are performed on the damaged areas of the spine.
Immediate hospitalization is indicated for patients with suspected spinal injury. Timely and appropriate medical care can reduce the negative effects of injury and speed recovery.
Preparation for diagnosis and treatment
In case of severe injuries (of a traumatic nature), the most important thing is the correct first aid for a spinal injury.
If initially, the specialists acted competently, then the chances of recovery increase. Before visiting a doctor for the purpose of diagnosis and choice of treatment tactics, it is advisable to take with you the results of previously done studies.