A cervical spine injury is a serious injury that can result from a car accident. These injuries are often serious and life-altering.
Although muscles protect the neck, the neck can become easily damaged in a high-speed car accident. For example, a person can get thrown forward, straight into a stationary object such as an airbag or steering wheel. The impact will cause the neck to snap forward and backward at a fast speed, which can damage the spinal cord. The cervical spine can also get dislocated (subluxation) or fractured if someone falls head-first to the ground.
Causes of Cervical Spine Injuries
- motorcycle crash
- high-velocity impact
- ejection from vehicle
Symptoms and Treatment
An individual may experience a spinal shock immediately after a car accident or may not feel anything below the neck. While this situation is temporary in most cases, some people may experience complete paralysis from the neck down for the rest of their lives. The following are other symptoms of a neck injury:
- weakness and numbness in the upper extremities
There are numerous medical procedures available for the treatment of spinal injuries of the neck. However, the first step to deal with neck injuries such as subluxation or fracture is using a cervical collar. A cervical collar stabilizes the neck and prevents any further damage. The next line of treatment for any spinal swelling is decompressing the spinal cord. Steroids may also be given to help the process. However, surgery may be necessary for a fracture to the vertebrae. Surgery would involve fusing the broken parts.
Prognosis and Future Outlook
The prognosis for a cervical spine injury depends on the severity of the injury. Individuals with fractured vertebrae without any spinal cord injuries have a good chance of recovering from the injury. However, some patients may also develop arthritis and may have limited movement of the neck.
Recovery from a spinal cord injury is unpredictable. The recovery from subluxation and fracture is usually slow. Some people may regain the use of their limbs, but the weakness and numbness in areas below the neck may persist. Some people may have to bear the pain of lifelong paralysis. These individuals usually experience numerous medical problems such as infections, bowel problems, respiratory and heart problems.
How Will My Car Accident Medical Expenses Be Paid?
Subluxation or fracture of the neck may require prolonged treatment and therapy. If you have suffered a subluxation or fracture of the neck in a car accident, be prepared to deal with huge medical expenses and an extended time off work. It is important to claim compensation for all losses you have suffered in the accident. Contact a car accident lawyer at The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. by calling (314) 361-4242 and scheduling a free consultation.
Speak with an experienced attorney 24/7