What is a Cervical Spine Injury?
Cervical spine injuries are one of the most severe types of spinal cord injuries. A cervical spine injury generally involves cervical fracture and cervical dislocation. Hundreds of people in Chennai suffer from cervical spine injuries every year.
The most common causes of spinal injuries include vehicle accidents, sports activities and falls from height. And the majority of fractures and dislocations of the spine column from such traumatic incidents affect the cervical spine region or neck. This is because it is one of the most mobile regions and thus vulnerable to injury. Cervical spine injuries often result in complete or partial paralysis of patients. In many cases, it can prove to be fatal as well. If you reside in Chennai and have suffered a cervical spine injury, seek urgent medical attention from the best spine doctors. Dr Vignesh Pushparaj is one of the Best spine surgeons in Chennai with an excellent track record of treating many patients with complex spinal injuries. To book an appointment, contact today!
To better understand cervical spine injury, first of all, it is important to know about the anatomy of the spine. Read on to find out.
If you look into the spinal anatomy, your spine is mainly divided into 3 sections: Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar. Besides these three, there are two minor sections known as Sacrum and Coccyx. Each of the sections is made up of individual bones, also referred to as vertebrae. Together, there are 33 bones in the spinal column. Now, the cervical portion of the spine consists of the top 7 vertebrae named C1 to C7 in the neck. And one of the highlights of cervical bones is that it is connected to the base of the skull. Since the cervical portion is closer to the brain, injuries to the cervical area are severe and cause conditions such as quadriplegia and paraplegia, leading to paralysis, loss of sensation below the shoulder and neck.
Types of Cervical Spine Injuries
Cervical spine injuries in the higher part of the spine are more severe. Therefore, the effects of injury differ as the vertebrae levels go higher.
Higher Cervical Levels
Higher cervical levels include C1 to C4 vertebrae in the spinal column. C1 and C2 are the top two vertebrae in the spine located at the neck or at the base of the brain. Also known as atlas and axis respectively, C1 and C2 enable motion of the neck. The injuries to C1 and C2 are rare. However, if the injury does occur, it is the most severe and can be fatal.
C3 and C4 are the next higher level vertebrae after C1 and C2. Extensive damage to C3 and C4 can cause complete paralysis in patients, requiring oxygen support and 24×7 care.
Low Cervical Levels
Spinal injury that occurs at the C5 vertebrae and below it is not as dangerous when compared to C1 to C4. Although severe damage to C5 and below vertebrae can cause paralysis, it is important to note that patients have a better chance of retaining sensory function, movements and the ability to breathe.
Causes and Symptoms
As previously discussed, the most common causes of cervical spine injuries are motor accidents, falls and sports activities. The sudden shock, impact and twisting are felt in the neck during traumatic incidents that cause bones in the spine to crack and ligaments to rupture. This may lead to cervical spinal fracture or dislocation.
Some of the common symptoms observed in cervical spinal injuries include the following:
Localized neck pain
Inability to speak
Paralysis in arms and legs
Inability to control bladder and bowel functions
Numbness in arms and legs
Some of the advanced indicators that demand better medical care include unconsciousness, significant spine and neck pain and spinal column deformity. In such cases, you should seek urgent medical care. You can consult Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj. He is one of the most trusted spine specialists in Bangalore and Chennai.
Cervical Spine Fracture Treatment
Cervical spine fracture treatment options generally include non-operative as well as surgical procedures. Your doctor will first try to ascertain the severity of the cervical spine injury and thereafter propose the best treatment approach. The non-operative treatment methods include medications and orthotic treatment such as collars, braces and hard plastic. Surgical options are suggested to the patient with the aim of decreasing pain, providing stability and boosting neurologic function.
You can get the best spine fracture treatment in Chennai. The concerned doctor will assess your condition and advise the course ahead. Besides the non-operative and surgical treatment advice, you can also take expert suggestions regarding the best mattress for spinal cord injury patients, which is an essential component for taking care of the patient.
Dr. Vignesh Pushparaj is the top spine surgeons in Chennai. He is highly qualified with national and international academic fellowships. In addition, the leading spine doctor has vast experience of more than 12 years in the spine treatment field. For more details, contact us at any time.