Spinal trauma can be caused by high velocity motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls from height, or from violent crime. These injuries can be very severe and usually require immediate medical attention, as well as urgent neurosurgical intervention.
WHY IS SPINAL INJURY TAKEN SO SERIOUSLY?
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and other tissue that connects the brain to the body. It allows for messages to be sent from the brain to the body, making movement possible. The spinal cord is surrounded by a protective bony canal that we know as the spine. Any injury to the spine can affect the spinal cord and can disrupt movement, sensation, and body organ function below the level of the injury.
Trauma to the spine refers to an injury to the vertebral body, the lamina, the pedicles, soft tissues and/or neurological structures within the spinal cord. Spinal injuries can vary widely in severity. When the bony structures within the spine are damaged, the protection and safety of the spinal column may be compromised. Dislocations and fractures of the spine can be minor, but remain unstable and can result in paralysis below the level of the injury if the spinal cord is damaged at some point
In cases of trauma to the spine, Dr. Kolloori will need to do an immediate assessment of the injury and may need to perform surgery to restore the mechanical stability of the spine, prevent further damage to the spinal cord, and attempt to lower the risk of progressive deformity or prolonged back pain in the future
WHAT MAY TREATMENT FOR SPINAL TRAUMA INVOLVE?
In cases of spinal injury, your neurosurgeon may perform a discectomy or laminectomy to remove portions of one or more vertebrae to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. These surgeries may also be followed by a posterior or anterior fusion surgery, which involves using rods, plates and screws and bone-grafting to secure and stabilise the spine. In addition, cages may or may not be used to achieve a fusion between the vertebral bodies.