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Serious car accidents can raise your risk of spinal fractures

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2021 | Car Accidents |

While many car accidents in California are minor fender benders, others are much more serious. Very bad crashes can result in devastating injuries such as spinal fractures. If you have recently suffered this type of injury, you should understand more about it and how you can be treated.

What is the most common cause of spinal fractures?

Motor vehicle accidents rank as one of the leading causes of spinal fractures. The sheer force of the impact can force the body into part of the vehicle and compress the spine when the body rebounds back in place.

Other common causes of spinal fractures are falls, especially in older adults who have osteoporosis, a medical condition that causes the bones to weaken and become brittle, sports injuries and acts of violence.

What are the different types of spinal fractures?

Spinal fractures that occur due to car accidents and other causes can affect any part of the spine. However, they most commonly affect the thoracic or lumbar vertebrae. The different types of spinal fractures include the following:

• Compression fracture: This type of fracture occurs when the vertebra breaks from the front and compacts. It results in a lot of pain but is a stable type of fracture.
• Burst fracture: This type of fracture causes the vertebra to lose height at both ends and often occurs from a fall or motor vehicle accident. Bones may or may not be out of place with this type of spinal fracture.
• Chance fracture: This is a serious fracture that can result in vertebrae being pulled apart, resulting in neurological injuries. Often, it occurs in vehicle accidents when the person was not using a shoulder restraint while using a lap belt.
• Fracture-dislocation: This type of spinal fracture affects multiple bones. It’s an unstable type of injury that can lead to damage to the spinal cord.

How can you tell you have suffered a spinal cord fracture?

Individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents commonly sustain spinal cord fractures. If you were in an accident and suspect that you have suffered this type of injury, you may be able to get clues from your symptoms. If you have trouble walking or moving, weakness, numbness or pain in your arms or legs, or difficulty with bodily functions, you may have fractured your spine and should seek medical attention.

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