Each year, over 17,700 people suffer a spinal cord injury in this country. In many instances, these injuries can be very severe, resulting in debilitating chronic pain. While some people are able to resolve these back injuries using conservative treatments such as physical therapy or spine injections, others may need spine surgery to restore a pain-free life.
Below is a discussion of the most common injuries requiring spine surgery, as well as when you may want to consider this type of treatment.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:
Motor vehicle accidents are by far the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. The impact of a high-speed collision with another vehicle can often wreak havoc on your spinal cord. They can cause your vertebrae to bend or twist, throw your spine out of alignment, and damage the supporting discs, ligaments, and muscles in your spine.
In general, men are more likely to suffer a spine injury in a motorcycle accident, while women are more likely to suffer a spine injury in a car accident.
Falls are an extremely common cause of spine injury. These accidents can easily damage the nerves in the spinal cord, create alignment issues with your spine, or lead to fractures in the vertebrae.
Falling off a roof or ladder will often lead to the most serious injuries due to the distance traveled during the fall. However, falling down a flight of stairs, slipping on a patch of ice, or simply tripping on an uneven surface can also result in a serious spine injury.\
Athletic activities are often associated with a high risk of injury. Many contact sports such as football, hockey and basketball can result in serious back injuries. In addition, many outdoor sports such as skiing, mountain biking, and climbing can result in serious damage to the spine which may necessitate surgery to repair.
Diving accidents are another surprisingly common cause of spine injuries. The poor diving form can place a great deal of stress on the spine, increasing the likelihood of a serious injury. In addition, diving into water that is too shallow to provide ample cushioning for your body can result in trauma to the spine. When these injuries are serious, spine surgery may be warranted.
Unfortunately, medical and surgical complications are all too common. These complications can seriously damage the spinal cord, especially when they result in an infection which isn’t treated promptly.
The good news is that most back injuries don’t require surgery. In many instances, your pain can be effectively managed with more conservative treatments such as physical therapy, spine injections, and medications. In addition, regular exercise can be an effective way to alleviate back pain and prevent it from reoccurring.
Unless your injury is very serious and has caused significant damage to the spinal cord, spine surgery will typically be a last resort. In general, spine surgery will only be recommended if these more conservative treatments have all been explored without success.
If you’ve suffered an injury that requires spine surgery, Colorado Advanced Orthopedics can help. Our team of board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons provides the finest quality care along the Western Slope. Our spine surgeon, Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki, has completed a spine fellowship. He focuses on surgical motion preservation procedures and achieves exceptional patient outcomes. Dr. Justin Grant, provides sports medicine expertise including the prevention, recognition, and treatment of athletic injuries. He is also trained in diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound-guided procedures such as spine and joint injections. Dr. Grant is also involved in the CAO spine program, including the management of spine injuries, and he is first assist on surgery days.
At Colorado Advanced Orthopedics, we’re committed to delivering an amazing patient experience from your initial visit through all of your follow-up care. Our team of caring medical professionals works hard to deliver highly personalized treatment. This includes providing the patient education necessary to make an informed decision about your options, taking the time to make sure you’re comfortable at all of your visits to our facility, and providing thorough follow-up care to ensure you make a full recovery. In addition, our state-of-the-art surgical center is equipped with the most advanced technology to ensure you receive the most precise surgical outcomes.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Colorado Advanced Orthopedics serves patients in Meeker and throughout the White River Valley.
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