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Common Spine Injuries from Car Accidents

Posted on August 19, 2021 in

common spine injuries from car accidents

The spine is one of the most important structures in the human body. This network of vertebrae, discs, and nerves is responsible for helping our brain and our body communicate, powering movement, sensation, and other functions. However, the spine is extremely susceptible to injury and damage during high-impact, fast-moving car accidents. Many Oregon residents sustain spine injuries in these collisions, including whiplash, herniated discs, and facet joint damage.

Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common spine injuries in a motor vehicle accident. This injury occurs when your head and neck moves rapidly due to the impact of a collision. This causes the nerves, tendons, and soft tissues in your neck and upper back to tear and twist in unnatural ways. As a result, you can develop severe pain, emotional distress, and movement difficulties that last for months following your car accident.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are often the most severe and devastating forms of damage that you can experience. The spinal cord refers to the bundle of nerves protected by the other structures in the spine, such as the nerves and the discs. Any injury to the spinal cord can be devastating.

During a car accident, the nerves and vertebrae in your spinal cord can suffer severe damage, causing inflammation, swelling, and bleeding. It is common for spinal cord injury victims to become paralyzed below the injury site or lose some of their motor and sensory functions after initial treatment. If you develop a spinal cord injury, you will likely require lifelong medical care and may need mobility equipment, rehabilitation, and other types of disability accommodations.

Herniated, Slipped, or Ruptured Discs

The vertebrae are the bones that make up the vertebrae and protect the spinal cord. Between each vertebra is a jelly-filled disc that keeps the bones from rubbing together, preventing pain and discomfort. However, the force of a car accident can cause these discs to slip out of place, tear, or rupture. This leads to very severe pain or numbness. Treatment for damaged discs may include corrective surgery, rest, and rehabilitation.

Facet Joint Injuries

Facet joints are the joints found in the spine between each vertebra, allowing our body to twist, bend, and move in certain positions. However, you can sustain serious damage to these joints during car accidents, resulting in limited mobility and severe pain. To treat this condition, you may need physical therapy, corrective surgery, and medications to reduce pain and inflammation.

What to Do After a Car Accident

Any type of spine injury will likely require extensive medical care, lengthy recovery periods, and specialized treatment, such as rehabilitation and physical therapy. This can result in serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences. However, legal options are available to car accident victims. 

If you developed a spine injury after a motor vehicle accident in Oregon, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Oregon is a fault-based accident state, and if someone is responsible for your collision, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her. In these situations, you need an Oregon car accident attorney on your side who can represent your claim and hold the at-fault driver accountable for your losses.

After your car accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible and save all records related to your treatment. As soon as possible following your hospitalization, contact an Portland car accident lawyer to discuss your next steps.