Spinal Cord Injuries – Traumatic and Nontraumatic Injuries – North Texas*

38 Procedures ( View All )

About Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back, running through a canal that is formed by and enclosed by the spinal vertebrae. The spinal cord carries nerve impulses back and forth between your body and your brain. A spinal cord injury disrupts these signals by cutting or damaging the spinal cord in some way. An injury to the spinal cord usually begins with a blow that fractures or dislocates one or more vertebrae. Most injuries do not cut through your spinal cord. Instead, pieces of vertebrae tear into cord tissue or press down on the spinal cord.

Dr. Kendall Carll is a board-certified spine surgeon who has been practicing for more than 15 years in the North Texas area. He leverages every ounce of his experience to help properly diagnose complex spine problems. His medical offices in Addison, Frisco and Plano are equipped to help patients recover from spinal cord injuries.

Causes

A traumatic spinal cord injury is caused by a high-impact blow to the spine. This results in spinal fractures and/or shattering of one or some of the spinal vertebrae. Common injuries that can result in a traumatic spinal cord injury include those that occur from sports accidents, car accidents, falls, and acts of violence. Nontraumatic spinal cord injuries are typically caused by degeneration of the spine, but can also be caused by infection, cancer, and arthritis.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury will vary depending on which area of the spine has been affected. Spinal cord injuries can also be complete or incomplete. With a complete spinal cord injury, the cord cannot send signals below the level of the injury. As a result, all feeling and mobility are lost below the injured area of the spine. With an incomplete spinal cord injury, you maintain some measure of movement and feeling below the injury. Other symptoms associated with both complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries include:

  • Pressure in the neck, head, or back
  • Inability to control bladder and bowel functions
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of sensation and feeling

Diagnostic Measures

When a spinal cord injury is suspected, Dr. Carll will administer a physical exam to test the patients level of feeling and mobility in their extremities. He will then typically use MRI, CT scan, and x-ray images to make a proper diagnosis. Individuals who have received a traumatic spinal cord injury will need to monitored until any swelling has reduced, so that more comprehensive exams can be administered.

Treatment Options

A spinal cord injury is a medical emergency. Immediate treatment can reduce the long-term effects of a spinal cord injury. Treatment following a spinal cord injury may include medication, braces or traction, and/or surgery to stabilize the spine. Longer-term treatments usually include medicines and rehabilitation therapy.

Nonsurgical

Certain medications can be beneficial for patients with an acute spinal cord injury in order to reduce swelling and inflammation, help with pain and discomfort, and reduce muscle spasms. Braces may also be necessary to help stabilize the spine. Physical therapy is recommended for almost every spinal cord injury patient in order to help them rebuild strength and mobility.

Surgical

In many cases of spinal cord injuries, surgery is needed to stabilize the spine, remove bone fragments, and repair areas of the spine. Typically, surgery is the first form of treatment in emergency cases in order to ensure that no further damage occurs to the spine.

Receive Immediate Care

Spinal cord injuries are serious and require immediate medical attention. Dr. Kendall Carll helps patients with both traumatic and nontraumatic spinal cord injuries to receive care in order to preserve as much mobility as possible. If you or a loved one received a spinal cord injury, contact one of our North Texas locations immediately to receive the appropriate treatment.

Related Procedures

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.