People who are in serious car accidents in Montana are at risk of a spinal cord injury. The function of the spinal cord is vital to normal activity, so those who experience this type of trauma typically sustain long-term injuries that can make a significant impact on life.
According to Healthy Day, car crashes are responsible for the majority of spinal cord injuries. Some of the common injuries include:
- Vertebral fractures
- Spinal column compression
- Vertebral dislocation
These injuries, in turn, affect the spinal cord, spinal discs and surrounding nerves. Depending on the extent of the injury, symptoms may not show up right away, or they may be subtle. Signs may include swelling, inflammation and fluid buildup that indicate bleeding around the cord. With serious trauma, paralysis may be the result, and this often shows up right away or soon after the accident. For serious injuries involving the neck, quadriplegia can occur. Injuries that involve the mid to low back may result in paraplegia.
According to Sheperd Center, there currently is not a cure for spinal cord injury and, although there are a minor number of cases that fully recover, most victims will only recover some function over the course of their lifetime. Because swelling is a common cause of injury at the site of impact, drugs that reduce swelling, such as steroids, can help decrease damage. Depending on the specific injury, other treatment methods may include prosthetics, physical therapy rehab, medication and time. Although not always necessary, devices such as wheelchairs, crutches and braces help with mobility, even though some victims are able to perform other activities without the assistance.