Accidents are an unfortunate reality of life. However, when it comes to spinal cord injuries, the repercussions can be severe.
Understanding how these injuries occur is important for both prevention and fostering awareness about the potential dangers.
Trauma is a primary catalyst for serious spinal cord injuries. Motor vehicle accidents, falls and sports-related incidents are common scenarios where the spinal cord bears the brunt of forceful impacts. The sudden, forceful jolts during such events can lead to fractures or dislocations of the vertebrae, damaging the delicate spinal cord in the process.
Falls, often considered mundane, can surprisingly result in debilitating spinal injuries. This is especially true for older people. 10.2% of Americans age 65 or older suffered from an injury related to a fall in 2018.
Whether it is a fall from a ladder, staircase or elevated surface, the impact on the spine can be significant. The spine is particularly vulnerable to injury when an individual lands on their head, neck or back, leading to potential damage to the spinal cord.
Acts of violence
Violence, whether intentional or accidental, is another significant factor in causing serious spinal cord injuries. Physical altercations, assaults or even gunshot wounds can result in spinal cord trauma. The deliberate or unintended force applied to the spine during such incidents can lead to life-altering consequences.
While less common, medical procedures can also lead to spinal cord injuries. Complications arising from spinal surgeries, anesthesia errors or infections can jeopardize the delicate spinal cord. It emphasizes the importance of thorough pre-operative assessments and meticulous surgical procedures to minimize the risk of such unintended consequences.
Paying close attention to how you feel physically can help after an incident, since some spinal cord injuries may not manifest until days or weeks after an accident. Finding medical help soon after an injury can also prevent feelings of stress or worry.