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What are the common spinal injuries caused by crashes?

In a car crash, the impact and sudden deceleration of your vehicle can result in significant injuries. Among them are a couple different spinal injuries that could put you at risk of a spinal cord injury.

Some of those injuries include spinal fractures and disc herniations. If not treated, these may cause serious pain and dysfunction. There is a possibility that the spinal cord could be damaged, as well.

What is a spinal fracture?

A spinal fracture occurs most often when the head and chest move forward but the rest of the body is restrained by the lap belt. The force can cause the spinal column to break, leaving fractures that cause symptoms such as numbness, muscle weakness, pain and other issues if the spinal cord is involved.

Severe breaks may push into the spinal cord or be unable to support the weight of the spine, which may mean that the spinal cord is crushed or cut as a result.

What is a disc herniation?

Disc herniations happen when a disc shifts out of place due to an accident. This may result in radiating pain or could compress the nerves nearby. Severe herniation may require surgery, especially if they are pressing on the spinal cord or other vital structures.

Either of these injuries could lead to serious pain and dysfunction. Immediate treatment is needed to help reduce the likelihood of secondary complications.

What do you need to do after you’re involved in a collision?

After you’re involved in a crash, call 911 and wait for medical help to arrive. Even though you may not feel injured at the time of a crash, you could have injuries that need attention. Many times, injuries aren’t obvious because of the adrenaline released during the collision.

Once you call for help, wait for the team to arrive and go to the hospital when they ask you to. You need an examination to understand the severity of your injuries and what kind of care you may need in the future. You will also need this documentation to help with a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver.

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