Spinal injuries

Spinal injuries


Aside from spinal cord damage, spinal injuries include fractures, contusions, and compressions of the vertebral column. These injuries usually are the result of trauma to the head or neck. The real danger lies in possible spinal cord damage. Spinal fractures most commonly occur in the 5th, 6th, and 7th cervical, 12th thoracic, and 1st lumbar vertebrae.


Most serious spinal injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, falls, diving
into shallow water, and gunshot and stab wounds; less serious injuries, from lifting heavy objects, contact sports such as football, and minor falls. Spinal dysfunction may also result from hyperparathyroidism and neoplastic lesions.

Signs and symptoms

The most obvious symptom of spinal injury is muscle spasm and back pain that worsens with movement. In cervical fractures, pain may produce point tenderness; in dorsal and lumbar fractures, it may radiate to other body areas such as the legs.

If the injury damages the spinal cord, clinical effects range from mild paresthesia to quadriplegia and shock. After milder injuries, such symptoms may be delayed for several days or weeks. During this time, the patient may unknowingly aggravate the condition


The following are complications of spinal injuries: autonomic dysreflexia, spinal shock, and neurogenic shock.

Jun 16, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Spinal injuries

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