Traumatic spinal injuries are very serious, no matter where they occur or how they affect the patient, and the effects can be lifelong. At the Colorado Spine Institute in Loveland, we want to provide our patients with the best possible care, and our spine specialists can help them understand their injury, what the effects will be, and what the best treatments options are. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury, either because of a fall, a car accident, or a contact sport, please make an appointment with us as soon as possible. In this post, we’ll discuss the groups of vertebrae in the spinal column, and how injury affects each section.
The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine is nearest the skull and consists of seven vertebrae. The risk of dysfunction is much higher if a person suffers an injury to any of these vertebrae. There can be paralysis in the arms, hands, core, and legs, and the ability to speak could be severely impaired. The patient will most likely require assistance with regular daily activities such as dressing, eating, and bathing.
The Thoracic Spine
The thoracic spine is located in the middle of the back, and consists of 12 vertebrae. Injury to this section can occur in contact sports or another impact event, and the effects can vary depending on severity. Injury to the higher vertebrae (T1 through T5) can lead to paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body and legs) while arm and hand function remains normal. If the lower vertebrae (T6 to T12) are affected, control of the bladder or bowel can be impaired, but standing and walking are still a possibility.
The Lumbar Spine
The final section of spine is the lumbar spine, and this section contains five vertebrae. The hips and legs can be affected by injury, as can the bowel and bladder. Injuries to the lumbar spine can be caused by falls, motor vehicle accidents, and other trauma. If a patient has spinal osteoporosis, he or she can be more prone to a lumbar injury that leads to limited mobility and functionality.
The Sacral Nerves
The sacrum forms the end of the spine that joins with the pelvis, and injuries to this area can cause limited mobility in the hips and legs, but the chances of the patient being able to walk and move normally are rather high.
An injury to any section of the spine is serious, and it’s important for the patient to understand what the immediate effects are and what the long-term effects will be. Our expert staff can explain what the severity of the injury is, and how best to proceed with treatment and ongoing care. We want you to have the best chance at living the life you want and doing the things you want to do.
Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment, and we’ll provide you with comprehensive and compassionate care. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what caused your injury – we’ll find the best treatment options for you.