Spinal fractures are a common outcome of many St. Louis car accidents.
The spinal cord is a complex bundle of vertebrae and nerves, which are responsible for transmitting messages between the brain and the body. If the spine suffers a break or a fracture, it often has serious consequences. In this post, our St. Louis car accident attorneys will discuss some of the common types of spinal fractures that can result from car accidents:
Compression fractures usually affect the lower back, in the lumber or thoracic spine. While the most common cause of these fractures is osteoporosis, trauma resulting from a car crash can also cause it. Of the three different types of compression fractures, wedge fractures are the most common, which occur when the back of the bone remains intact, but the front of the vertebra collapse forming a wedge shape. This vertebra is still mechanically stable, and can function and carry the person’s weight. However, it can cause neurological problems, and if left untreated, it can cause spinal deformities.
In this type of fracture, not just the front, but the entire vertebra suffers a break, and collapses in on itself. They are generally more serious than wedge fractures, but are usually mechanically stable. The patient may experience a sudden and sharp pain in the lower or middle back after the injury.
These fractures occur when an extreme force crushes the vertebra. The vertebra collapses, and bursts in multiple directions, sending small pieces of shattered bones into the spinal tissue. Burst fractures are the most severe type of compression fractures, and in most cases, they are unstable. Burst fractures can damage tissues and nerves during the break leading to spinal deformity and causes walking difficulty. Burst fractures require immediate treatment.
Flexion Distraction Fracture
A car accident can bend the spine in a way that it places immense stress on the vertebrae causing a flexion-distraction fracture. Although the spine is capable of flexing forward, but any sudden movement can cause one or more vertebra to break. These types of fractures normally affect the middle or posterior column of the spine.
Symptoms of a Spinal Fracture
The symptoms of a spinal fracture depend entirely on the type and severity of the fracture. The victim may experience severe pain in the middle or lower spine area. Pain may also occur in the front or side of the spine. In most cases, the pain is disabling and can last for a long time.
In cases involving minor fractures, the patient may experience weakness, difficulty walking, tingling or numbness due to pressure on the spine. If you experience any of these symptoms after a St. Louis auto accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. Typically, the sooner you get treatment, the better the prognosis.
Compensation for Spinal Fractures
If you have sustained a spinal fracture in a car accident, you will likely need extensive treatment and time off from work. To recover adequate compensation for your injury, it is in your best interests to speak with a car accident attorney near you. If you’ve been injured in a St. Louis accident, call The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 to learn more about your legal right to compensation.