Fracturing a vertebra in your spine is extremely painful and can potentially lead to long term nerve damage. Car accidents are among the most common causes of vertebral fractures due to the immense force involved in the accident. Rollover accidents are considered especially likely to result in vertebral fractures within the neck, which is a devastating area for this injury. Some other common causes of vertebral fractures include falls, particularly those from heights, gunshot wounds, and sports accidents.
What is a Vertebral Fracture?
A vertebral fracture is a break within the cortex of the bones of the spine. These fractures can occur in the upper, middle, and lower portion of the spine, and the severity of the injury will in part be determined by the location of the fracture. The vertebra can break in an array of pieces and in turn cause spine instability.
Injury to the nerves within the spinal cord is the greatest complication associated with vertebral fractures. When pieces of the bone become destabilized and displaced, they could harm the spinal nerves. Depending upon the severity of the injury, vertebral fracture victims could potentially become paralyzed.
Symptoms of a Vertebral Fracture
The most common symptom of a vertebral fracture will be back pain, but this could also be expressed as neck pain if the fracture is located higher in the spine. You might also experience decreased range of motion, leaving you unable to bend, twist, or move your torso to the extent you normally can. If your nerve is being impacted by the fracture, you will notice pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the part of your body corresponding to the injured nerve.
Treatment for Vertebral Fractures
Your treatment will depend upon the location, stability, and severity of your injury. If the spine remains stable and bones are not displaced, you might be fitted for a brace that will limit your movement while your body safely heals. If the bone fragments are not stable or if the fracture has caused the bone to compress on any nerves, you might need emergency surgery to stabilize the spine.
Your recovery will depend upon the severity of the injury and how soon you begin treatment. Most vertebral fracture victims will make a close to full recovery, but this could require several surgeries, rehabilitation, braces, and ongoing care. A select few of the most injured could experience ongoing paralysis. Further, anyone who has suffered a bone injury is at risk of developing arthritis in that area later on in life.
Contact an Attorney if You Have Suffered a Vertebral Fracture
If you have sustained this serious injury as a result of a car or other accident involving negligence, contact a licensed attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will assist you in determining whether you should be entitled to compensation.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Personal Injury Attorneys
The Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, assist injured accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Our firm has over 39 years of experience and we strive to provide you with legal services of unmatched excellence. The sooner you act after your accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.