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.
"I recently experienced a pinched nerve that severely affected my ability to use my right hand. I contacted Dr. Carll who immediately went to work on my behalf. Knowing that this was a time sensitive situation Dr. Carll went out of his way to ensure that I received the appropriate MRIs, CAT scans, and nerve studies to properly diagnose my situation. After reviewing all the test Dr. Carll exhibited true professionalism and integrity by referring me out to Dr. Patty Young (I am so thankful for your referral) who specialized in the surgery that I would need. Dr. Carll could’ve chosen to operate because I had several degenerative disc, however he chose ethics over profit. Dr. Carll is a true professional that will put your health over profit! When it comes to your health there’s nothing more important than having a doctor that you can trust to be professional and ethical. Thank you Dr. Carll for providing me with both!"- K.H. / Google / Aug 29, 2018
"Dr. Carll is THE BEST!!! I had to have an A-lift spinal fusion and never before have I seen such a caring doctor and staff. They held my hand through my fears were actually there for me and more throughout the process. I don't believe there is a more caring, more compassionate doctor than Dr. Carll. Thanks to him and his amazing abilities I can feel my right leg again and now live without pain. I will forever be grateful to this office and Dr. Carll for being there for me as a person and as a patient.-Nicole Baucum"- Anonymous / Healthgrades / May 17, 2019
"Excellent care - Very compassionate doctor! Truly cares about your pain and issues."- Anonymous / Vitals / Feb 12, 2019
"Excellent Care!! - I had put off my 360 Spinal Fusion for over a decade, relying on epidurals to deal with the pain. After doing two years of thorough research, I chose Dr. Kendall Carll at the Spine Care of North Texas. Being that I’m in the medical industry, I did ask around, too.From the initial consultation, all staff involved were very supportive and explained all aspects of the procedure; including what I could expect during and after the procedure. Because I never really experienced “excruciating” pain, I stopped taking all pain meds three days after the procedure. I was up and walking the day of the procedure and followed all directives. I was up several times a day walking and learning how to use steps; since I my place is two levels.The staff did a great job setting up my home health care; which included a nurse and a physical therapist. They, too, did an outstanding job. A large part of my job involves air travel. I felt so “good” I reached out to see if I was ok to travel. I followed all restrictions, primarily lifting, and was able to take a two-hour flight. This is amazing considering it was only 23 days post-surgery.If you’re like me and will use insurance, be sure to do the match; to make sure your rehab will be completed by the end of the year.“I am 100% satisfied with my experience with Spine Care of North Texas. Every single person on staff was terrific, and the system worked flawlessly. I now refer all my friends and family to them."- Anonymous / Vitals / Feb 04, 2019
"From the initial consultation, all staff involved were very supportive and explained all aspects of the procedure; including what I could expect during and after the procedure. Because I never really experienced “excruciating” pain, I stopped taking all pain meds three days after the procedure. I was up and walking the day of the procedure and followed all directives. I was up several times a day walking and learning how to use steps; since I my place is two levels. They are the best!!!"- E.E. / Healthgrades / Feb 04, 2019
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.