Many people suffer from spinal cord injuries because of preventable causes like falls, violence, or traffic accidents. The survival rate of people with spinal injuries is low and, therefore, this calls for care and assistance. Dr. Robert Ayer in Bethlehem is a specialist at Apex Spine and Neurosurgery who will walk with you throughout your recovery journey.
Understanding spinal injury
As the name suggests, spinal cord injury is the injury of the spine due to a trauma such as an accident or a fall. It can also occur due to particular ailments such as cancer or degeneration diseases. Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the illness, accident, or location of the injury.
It can cause partial or complete loss of senses like motor skills of your arms, legs, and entire body. Some injuries affect the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, bowels, and bladder. Some people will experience chronic pain.
Which age group is at higher risk of spinal cord injury?
Everybody, regardless of age, is at risk of a spinal cord injury because of accidents or falls. However, the risk of injury due to diseases increases as you advance in age.
Why care and rehabilitation is necessary
Spinal cord injuries can increase the risk of other secondary ailments that are debilitating and life-threatening. Examples include deep vein thrombosis, muscle spasms, urinary tract infections, bedsores, respiratory complications, and pain. Your doctor will recommend care and rehabilitation to manage the injury and prevent these conditions.
With a spinal cord injury, you will become dependent on the caregivers. However, experts at Apex Spine and Neurosurgery recommend assistive devices to facilitate your mobility and improve self-care.
Diagnosis of a spinal cord injury
When you visit the medical facility, your doctor will run tests to assess the injury’s nature. The most common tests include X-rays, CT scans, and an MRI to identify herniated discs and blood clots.
Your doctor can also perform a neurological evaluation which involves testing the muscles and checking your sensing ability.
Prevention and treatment of a spinal cord injury
Unfortunately, some accidents are not preventable at a personal level since they may involve external inventions. For instance, a reduction in traffic accidents is foreseeable in the future, if the roads are better, your vehicle is in excellent condition and other road users adhere to traffic regulations.
Some are policy measures and you may not have control over them. However, falls and violence at home can be controlled to some extent. For example, you can be more careful when walking and stay away from trouble by avoiding violence. Proper management and care of the current illness can prevent spinal cord injury because of disease.
For treatment, spinal cord injuries are irreversible. However, your doctor may apply an intravenous injection to treat an acute injury. Also, a neck collar is provided to stabilize the spine, and experts recommend surgery for removing fractured bones and herniated disks.
It is possible to return to your everyday life after a spinal injury. However, some patients will require permanent care. Contact the specialists at Apex Spine and Neurosurgery to discuss the best treatment method to enable you to resume productive life after suffering an injury.