Severe impact during an auto accident can cause numerous types of back injuries, and the aftermath may range from nagging chronic pain to life-altering disabilities. In any case, treatment costs can pile up quickly and may continue for years after the accident. Symptoms of back pain include, but are not limited to:
- Pain that extends from the lower back to the buttocks and upper thigh; in some cases, pain extends all the way to the toes
- Sharp pains in specific spots anywhere on the back, shoulders or neck
- Chronic or persistent spinal aches and stiffness
- Nagging pain in the middle or lower back that manifests after long periods of sitting or standing Discomfort or muscle spasms in the back while standing straight
These symptoms could indicate one or more of these common back injuries suffered by car accident victims:
- Bone misalignment
- Disc injuries, such as bulging, herniated, protruding or ruptured disc
- Lumbar strain or sprain
- Spinal cord trauma
- Tissue damage
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after a car crash or any other accident, take the first step by seeking immediate medical attention to determine the extent of your injuries.
When you seek medical help for your back injury following an auto accident, there are numerous detection options that you can typically expect, including:
- Computerized Tomography, also known as a CT scan. This is a method used for obtaining numerous images from inside the body.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, utilizes radio wave pulses and magnetic fields to view organs and structural aspects of the body.
- X-rays use radiation to view the internal structures of the body.
- EMG, or Electromyography, records electrical activity within the muscles.
- Myelography is radiographic examination used to study the spinal areas.
- SPECT, or Single-Photon Emission Computerized Tomography, is an imaging technique that uses gamma rays.
Auto accident victims sometimes suffer back injuries that require surgery.
Surgical treatment options for back injuries include:
- Spinal fusion: Also known as Arthrodesis, spinal fusion is a major surgery that entails one of two methods to join separated vertebrae in the lumbar region. Pieces of actual bone taken from a bone bank or from the patient’s own pelvic bone are grafted together, or a metal implant bridges the gap until new bone can grow in its place.
- Vertebroplasty: When an auto accident victim suffers spinal compression fractures, a doctor may order vertebroplasty. Patients undergoing this outpatient procedure have a type of surgical cement injected to the injured area to bring together broken or cracked vertebrae.
- Diskectomy: If an auto accident causes a herniated disc, the compression may cause moderate to severe nerve pain throughout the body. To alleviate the pressure on the nerves, a doctor may order a diskectomy. This entails removing the damaged portion of the disc. Typically, this is a minimally invasive surgery that involves small incisions.
- Artificial disc implant: This is a newer procedure that is intended to alleviate lower back pain caused by damaged or worn discs. A mechanical device is placed between injured discs to help the patient eventually regain range of motion.
- Laminectomy: During this procedure (also called decompression), a surgeon removes the lamina, which is a portion of the vertebra located over to the spinal canal. This opens up space around and alleviates pressure on nerves.
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The content on this page should not be interpreted as or substituted for professional medical advice. We are experienced in working with these injuries, but we are not doctors.