Spinal trauma can be defined as damage to the spinal cord. It may be caused by direct injuries to the cord or by indirect causes such as certain diseases that affect the spine surrounding bones, tissues or blood vessels. Spinal traumas can be caused due to minor injuries, if it is strong enough to weaken the spine. Most of the spinal trauma cases occur at the age of 15-35, especially can be seen among men. Reliable reports says that, death rates are higher in young children, most of which is caused by spinal injuries.
Aging can be considered as another factor that affects the spine. As you age, the spinal canal, which protect the spinal cord becomes too narrow and the spinal cord can be get easily injured. Patients who have other health issues are also at risk to get affected by spinal trauma.
Depending upon the location of the injury, symptoms of spinal trauma may vary. Two common symptoms may include weakness and loss of feeling at and below the injury. The severity of the injury also constitutes the difference in symptoms. Any kinds of injuries can cause symptoms such as:
- Sensory changes
- Increased muscle tone
- Loss of normal bowel and bladder control etc.
Spinal trauma requires immediate care. Go to a neurosurgeon, who can diagnose and treat your issues. He/she will conduct a physical exam and other tests such as:
- CT Scan or MRI of the spine
- Spine X-rays
- Myelogram and
- Somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) testing or magnetic stimulation.
Spinal traumas are to be treated immediately. Certain medications may used to reduce the swelling. According to the mode and severity of the injury, the doctor will decide whether you require require surgery or not. Apart from surgery, there are certain other treatments also. Surgeries are done in order to remove fragments of bones, foreign objects, herniated disks, fractured vertebrae etc. Sometimes, surgeries are also suggested to stabilize the spine to prevent future pain or deformity.