Spinal cord trauma simply means damage to the spinal cord. It may result from direct injury to the cord itself or indirectly from disease of the surrounding bones, tissues, or blood vessels. The causes can range from assault to car wrecks to falling down, and the types of treatment for spinal trauma are as varied as the causes. A minor injury can damage the spinal cord if the spine is weakened, such as from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis. Injury can also occur if the spinal canal protecting the spinal cord has become too narrow (spinal stenosis) due to the normal aging process.
Direct injury, such as bruises, can occur to the spinal cord if the bones or discs have been weakened. Fragments of bone (such as from broken vertebrae, which are the spine bones) or fragments of metal (such as from a traffic accident) can damage the spinal cord. Direct damage can occur if the spinal cord is pulled, pressed sideways, or compressed. This may occur if the head, neck, or back is twisted abnormally during an accident or intense chiropractic manipulation.
While there are many forms of treatment for spinal trauma, Athens Brain & Spine specializes in fusions for fracture repair. The goal of the surgery is to fuse and repair the fracture, eliminate back pain, and restore posture and ease of movement. The most common surgical procedures for spinal compression fractures are lumbar fusion and vertebroplasty/kyphoplasty. Minimally invasive lumbar fusion joins the bones of the spine in the lower back together so that there is no longer any motion between them. This procedure can repair a fracture; correct deformity; and reduce spinal pressure, pain, and nerve damage. Minimally invasive lumbar fusions do not require the large incision or the muscle retraction typically used in conventional fusions. Patients undergoing this procedure have a fast recovery time.