A spinal cord injury is always serious. There are plenty of ways someone may suffer a spinal cord injury, ranging from a slip and fall to a motor vehicle collision. At the same time, if you have suffered a spine injury, you need to seek medical care as quickly as possible. If you believe someone around you has suffered a spine injury, it is essential not to move them. Instead, you must let medical personnel evaluate them, as moving them prematurely could worsen the injury. What are some of the treatment options for a cervical spine injury? There are a few essential points to keep in mind.
Neck Collars and Braces
One of the most common treatment options that you may see used for a spinal cord injury is a neck collar or a neck brace. These are important because they will immobilize the neck and spine, reducing the chances of the injury worsening. You cannot move their neck or back if you think someone has suffered a spinal cord injury. Otherwise, it might make an existing injury even worse. A neck collar or brace will immobilize the spine as the injury heal. If the damage is relatively minor, it can be used to reduce swelling. At the same time, there are some situations where this treatment option might not be enough.
Even though medications will not necessarily fix a spinal cord injury, they can prevent it from getting worse. As with any damage, there is a chance that spelling might take place. For example, if you have ever banged your knee on a hard surface, you know your knee will start to swell up. The same thing happens if you injure your spinal cord; however, when swelling occurs in the spinal canal, it can compress many of the nerves that run through the canal. That is why you need to keep the swelling down. Medications, such as steroids, can reduce swelling in the spinal cord, preventing the injury from worsening.
In many cases, the doctor will order an image, such as an MRI, to look closely at the spinal cord to see what is happening. Then, there are situations where a surgical procedure might be required. For example, suppose there is a bone fragment in the spinal canal. In that case, the doctor may have to perform a surgical procedure to remove the fragments. Or, if a foreign object has penetrated the spinal canal, the doctor may need to perform surgery to remove those foreign bodies before they can suffer any of the nerves in the spinal cord. There are even situations where surgery might be required to repair a fractured vertebra or a herniated disc. Sometimes, patients need to spend a few days in the hospital after the surgical procedure is done to ensure the recovery process is on the right track.
Treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury Is Critical
Ultimately, the exact treatment process will vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Some people may need to wear a neck brace for a little while, but other people may require emergency surgery. Even though there are some situations where a spine injury may be permanent, there are other situations where early intervention can significantly improve someone’s prognosis. If you believe you have suffered a spine injury, you need to reach out to a doctor quickly. The sooner you seek medical care, the better your prognosis will be.