Massachusetts Medical Malpractice – Cervical Spine Injury
The cervical spine is a fragile part of the body. It consists of seven vertebrate in the neck. They are separated by disks, which cushion the vertebrate. The individual cervical vertebrates have a number designated to each one from C1 to C7. The cervical nerves are also numbered from C1 to C8. When a person is a quadriplegic or paraplegic, you often will hear the injury termed as that number i.e. a “C7 injury.” The cervical spine’s purpose is to contain and protect the spinal cord, support the skull and allow for all types of head movement. Trauma to this area often results in full or partial paralysis.
Pain and tingling are symptoms to watch out for with a cervical spine injury. A very severe symptom is numbness, which could mean paralysis is setting in. The nerves could be stretched or hurt, which can cause loss of function in various parts of the body. Each cervical nerve controls both a function and sensation. For example, the C1 and C2 nerves control the head and neck. The C8 nerve controls the hands. With any cervical spine injury, immediate medical attention must be sought out. In many cases, when the injury is treated immediately, it becomes increasingly more serious. In the case of car accidents, a cervical injury could be mild such as whiplash, when the head moves suddenly in one direction and recoils in another, causing the neck to be forced beyond its normal range. The victim may experience painful symptoms such as headaches and pain between the shoulder blades, but whiplash is not life threatening and the victim can heal normally.
Complications arise when the cervical spine snaps. A frightening consequence and one of the rarest of a cervical spine snap is internal decapitation, or when the skull completely separates from the spinal column. There have been survivors of internal decapitation although it is extremely rare to survive such a trauma. Another major complication is when the cervical spine is injured so severely that the victim is paralyzed. Unfortunately, this does happen. The victim will feel a loss of sensation either in the lower body or both the lower and upper body. The result is the inability to use arms, legs or move the torso and perform regular bodily functions normally.
For a lucky survivor of a cervical spine injury, the victim may have whiplash. They must endure pain, sleep disturbances and depression, and whiplash may never go away, but they are able to recover and walk away from the trauma. With paralysis this is not an option. In the case of a quadriplegic, the person must receive round–the–clock care from nurses, either at home or in a rehabilitation facility. A daily routine must be established and committed to every day. In addition, rigorous physical therapy must be undertaken so muscles do not deteriorate due to atrophy. In the worst case scenario, the victim will die from the cervical spine injury.
Massachusetts Medical Malpractice – Cervical Strain
The cervical spine refers to the seven vertebrae that make up the neck. They are separated by disks that cushion each vertebrate. When the muscles and tendons of the cervical spine are injured, this is called a cervical strain. A tendon is a fibrous tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. Without tendons, the bones could not move, thus they are the foundation of bodily movement. Car accidents and other traumatic occurrences cause cervical strains.
If a muscle or tendon is stretched beyond its normal range, this is when an injury can occur. Cervical strains are very frightening because many people associate spinal cord injuries with paralysis. If a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident and believes s/he has compromised the cervical spine in any way, the victim should seek immediate medical attention. The symptoms of a cervical strain include instant sharp pain in the area, bruising, swelling, muscle spasm with stiffness, and a tearing or popping feeling in the neck.
Whiplash can cause a cervical strain. Whiplash is when the head moves suddenly in one direction and recoils in another, causing the neck to be forced beyond its normal range, usually caused by a hit from behind in an auto accident. Victims experience these symptoms: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, pain in the shoulder, and between the shoulder blades and pain in one or both arms. Additional signs are sleep disturbance, poor concentration or memory, or a sudden onset of ill–temperament or depression. Whiplash is more serious than people tend to believe, in fact, many victims never fully recover from it.
Treatment varies. If the cervical strain is not serious, the victim can ice the area, massage, and apply a heat pack to the neck after the swelling has gone down. However, complications can arise when the pain does not go away. In these cases, the doctor may prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxers, if the muscle spasms will not dissipate. Cervical traction may be recommended for prolonged pain, so the neck remains immobile while it heals. Physical therapy may also be a recommendation of the doctor as part of treatment.
Find Out If You Have A Medical Malpractice Injury Case
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