Common Spine Injuries From Car Accidents

Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord trauma in the United States. These injuries can occur as a result of severe vehicle accidents or even relatively minor accidents. Here, we want to discuss the most common types of spinal cord injuries that occur due to vehicle accidents in Illinois. We will also discuss some of the most common costs associated with these injuries that victims and their families can expect.

Common spine injuries from car accidents

1. Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries that occur as a result of a car accident. Anytime a person’s body experiences a rapid deceleration or acceleration, whiplash can occur. Most people think of whiplash happening only in the neck area, but the reality is that any area of the spine can suffer from whiplash. When a person experiences these forces in a vehicle accident, this can stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in their neck and spinal areas and lead to pain and a lack of mobility.

2. Herniated & Ruptured Discs

Our spines are composed of various vertebrae, which are external casings that house and protect the spinal column. In between the vertebrae are jelly-like discs that keep the vertebrae from rubbing together. When a vehicle accident occurs, this can cause these little discs to tear, shift, or rupture. When this happens, a person could experience a ruptured or herniated disc, and symptoms can include radiating pain throughout the body or numbness.

3. Spinal Fractures & Spondylolisthesis

Whenever a vehicle accident occurs, the body could be swiftly jerked in one direction and then back in another direction. This can place significant pressure onto the spine, and it can even cause a compression fracture anywhere along the spinal column. This can cause spondylolisthesis, which is a condition where a fractured vertebrae shifts or places pressure on the spinal column. Symptoms of spondylolisthesis can include pain and numbness in various areas of the body as well as problems with bladder control.

4. Spinal Cord Injuries

Data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) indicates that around 18,000 individuals sustain a spinal cord injury each year across the US. Most of these incidents occur as a result of vehicle accidents. Injuries to the spinal cord are often devastating, typically because the spine cannot be repaired. It is not uncommon for spinal cord injury victims to suffer from significant short- and long-term disabilities, including paralysis.

5. Facet Joint Injuries 

We have all kinds of joints in our body, including facet joints that can be found in the spine. These facet joints act as a hinge between every one of our vertebrae. However, these joints are often harmed during an auto accident.

6. Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is not caused by the actual vehicle accident, but a crash could cause asymptomatic spinal stenosis cases to become symptomatic. A vehicle accident can bring on numbness, pain, and other complications already going on inside of a deteriorating spine.

Regardless of the type of spinal cord injury caused by a vehicle accident, victims need to work with Chicago spinal cord injury attorneys who can help recover maximum compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and long-term pain and suffering losses.