Can a car accident cause a spinal compression fracture?

Yes, when a car accident impact is so powerful that it breaks bones by compressing the vertebrates causing fractures.

Author: Brad Nakase, Attorney

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Spinal fractures are a serious injury that come from high-speed impacts. During a car accident, a compression fracture occurs when the strong impact causes the bones in the spine’s vertebrae to fracture. The intense pressure from the sudden impact causes a severe compression fracture. Vertebrae fractures can cause moderate to severe pain that gets worse with movement.

What Is a Vertebral Fracture?

A spinal fracture occurs when the vertebrae, or backbone, are dislocated or fractured. This can happen in any location of the spine. Most spinal fractures happen as a result of injury or trauma caused by car accidents, sports, falls, or another high-speed impact. Injuries from such accidents range in severity from mild muscle and ligament strains to serious fractures and damage to the spinal cord. Minor fractures can be treated with medication and rest, but more severe fractures may require surgery to realign the spinal bones. If left untreated, spinal fractures may result in permanent spinal cord damage, including nerve damage and paralysis.

  • Compression fracture

A compression fracture is usually the result of osteoporosis, a tumor, or another abnormality in the spine. The front vertebra will break and deteriorate, while the back of the vertebra remains intact. This type of injury is most common in the middle of the back.

  • Axial burst fracture

An axial burst fracture is the result of a loss of height on both the front and back of vertebra. It is usually caused due to a fall or vertical impact.

  • Chance fracture

This is a fracture caused by the separation of the vertebrae as the result of a violent forward flexed injury. This kind of injury usually happens in a car accident.

There are a number of different spine injuries that can come of a serious car accident, and no two injuries are the same.

What Are Symptoms of a Spinal Fracture?

Spinal fracture symptoms vary based on the severity and location of the damage. Not all fractures cause a spinal cord injury, and the spinal cord is rarely severed. The most common symptom of a spinal fracture is pain the back that gets worse with movement.

Spinal fracture symptoms include the following:

  • Pain in the neck or back
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Weakness or paralysis of the limbs
  • Uncontrolled muscles spasms
  • Loss of urinary and bowel control

If an individual loses consciousness as the result of a high-energy impact, then he or she should get immediate emergency evacuation and treatment.

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