Even though cars are generally safe, car accidents are not exactly rare. When crashes happen, of course, individuals often suffer injuries. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, doctors treat almost 5 million accident victims annually.
Accident-associated injuries can range from minor to severe and life-threatening, with spinal compressions being on the more serious side. Officially called spinal myelopathy, compressions squish the spinal cord as it passes through the neck or back.
Symptoms of spinal myelopathy
Spinal myelopathy can happen with age as bones in the spinal column naturally degrade. It also can come from trauma, such as a car accident. Either way, if you have the condition, you are likely to have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pain in your neck, back, arms or legs
- Numbness or tingling in your extremities
- Problems with fine motor skills, such as typing or buttoning a shirt
- Difficulty controlling balance
A medical emergency
Mild spinal myelopathy can be hard to detect, especially if you are mostly asymptomatic. If you have a more severe case, though, you should treat the condition as a medical emergency. After all, untreated spinal myelopathy can cause long-term damage to your spinal cord, potentially exposing you to paralysis and other life-altering consequences.
A treatable condition
Spinal myelopathy is treatable for many patients. After doctors diagnose the condition, they may recommend surgery. You also might need physical and occupational rehabilitation to regain sensation and movement.
Ultimately, while treating spinal myelopathy is likely to be expensive, you might have grounds to pursue financial compensation from the driver who caused the accident that compressed your spine.