Treating a Back Injury - St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
Back injuries are among the most common injuries resulting from car accidents. In many cases, the symptoms are not present immediately following the injury, and may take hours, days, or even weeks to show up. The earlier the back injury is diagnosed, the earlier the treatment begins, the quicker the victim can recover. In this post, our St. Louis car accident lawyers will discuss how common back injuries are treated.
Most spinal fractures resulting from car accidents occur in the mid to low back. If the fracture is suspected, the injured person should not be moved. Even the emergency workers first immobilize the patient with a backboard or cervical neck color before moving him/her. This is important because the broken bone can press on the spinal cord and cause a spinal injury.
The first step to treating the injury is a physical exam, followed by imaging tests to find out the exact location and nature of injury. The doctors may also perform neurological tests to determine if there is a nerve or spinal cord injury.
Treatment depends on the severity and type of the fracture. Fractures such as compression fractures are more stable and be treated by making the patient wear a back brace for 6-12 weeks, followed by physical therapy. Even extension fractures can be treated with a brace or cast if the bones can be fit back together. However, for unstable fractures surgery is often necessary.
The surgery involves fitting the bones back together, to relieve the pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, and to stabilize the spine. A laminectomy or decompression surgery is performed to remove any part of bone or spinal structure that is compressing the nerves or spinal cord. Screws, cages and rods may be used to hold the spine in the right position for recovery.
Spondylolisthesis refers to a condition in which a stress fracture in one of the vertebrae, known as spondylolysis, causes the vertebra to shift out of place. It can occur because of hyperextension of the spine, and in severe cases can compress the nerves or spinal cord.
The first line of treatment is usually conservative, wherein the patient is advised to avoid activities that can cause back pain. Anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to relieve back pain. In some cases, a back brace may be required to support the spine while it heals, and some strengthening and stretching exercises may be used to restore the function and flexibility of back and abdominal muscles.
Surgery is required in cases where slippage is severe or is worsening. Spinal fusion surgery may be required to fuse the bones together, and rods and screws may be used to hold the bones together.
Pulled Back Muscles
Muscle strains and sprains are common among car accident victims. Most strains and sprains resolve within 3-4 weeks with treatment. For muscle spasms and pain. Pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxers may be prescribed. Cold packs also help reduce inflammation and heat therapy helps relax muscles and stimulates blood flow to the injured area. Some strengthening and stretching exercises are also recommended to strengthen the supporting muscles.
If you have been in a car accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. If your back injuries are serious enough, you may need extensive treatment, which may prove quite expensive. It is therefore important to recover adequate compensation from the person responsible for causing the accident, and hence your injuries. An experienced St. Louis accident lawyer can help you at each step of the recovery process.
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