About Spinal Nerve Injuries
A spinal cord injury is identified when there is damage to any part of the spinal cord or the spinal canal that causes changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions. Spinal nerve injuries can be caused by the gradual deterioration of spinal vertebrae and intervertebral discs, or they can occur because of sudden trauma, such as from a fall or a car accident. With more than 15 years of experience treating spinal cord injuries, board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Kendall Carll is skilled to help restore your nerve function and decrease your discomfort through treatments at Spine Center of North Texas. His medical offices in Addison, Frisco, and Plano are equipped to diagnose and treat physical ailments that are connected to spinal nerve injuries and help you take back your life.
"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
Many spinal nerve injuries are caused by the gradual deterioration of the spinal vertebrae and intervertebral discs. As these components of the spine break down, they may intrude on the space occupied by the spinal cord, pinching it or squeezing one of the spinal nerve branches. When this occurs, the nerves may stop transmitting signals to the brain and the nerves may malfunction, causing numbness or weak muscle signaling or changes in strength. The signal interference from a fractured spinal vertebra or herniated disc can also cause pain. Conditions such as sciatica and foot drop are typically related to these types of circumstances. Tumors, infections, and certain neurological diseases can also cause spinal nerve damage over time.
While many cases of spinal nerve damage are caused by nontraumatic changes in the body, a significant number of spinal nerve injuries occur each year due to traumatic blows to the spine that fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress one or more of the vertebrae, potentially severing the spinal cord. The physical manifestation of these types of injuries will depend on the location of the spinal nerve injury and whether the break involves an incomplete or complete severing of the spinal cord.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States are motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports injuries, and diseases. To significantly reduce one’s risk of severe spinal cord injuries, the best medical advice we can provide is to always buckle your seat belt, wear a bicycle helmet, don’t dive in shallow water, and use proper safety equipment when playing contact sports.
Spinal cord injuries of any kind may result in one or more of the following:
- Temporary or permanent loss of movement or muscle strength
- The inability to feel heat, cold, or touch
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Changes in sexual function
- Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing secretions from your lungs
Certain spinal cord injuries (especially after an accident) require immediate medical attention, particularly when the following symptoms are present:
- Extreme back pain or pressure in your neck, head, or back
- Weakness or paralysis in any part of your body
- Numbness, tingling, and/or loss of sensation in your hands or feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty with balance and walking
- Impaired breathing after injury
- An oddly positioned or twisted neck or back
When you seek medical attention at Spine Center of North Texas, Dr. Carll may be able to rule out a spinal cord injury with simple inspection and examination. But if you or the patient is in serious pain, not fully conscious, or has obvious signs of serious injury, emergency diagnostic testing will be performed at the nearest hospital. These tests may include:
- X-rays – These scans can offer Dr. Carll deep insight, revealing vertebral problems, tumors, fractures, and degenerative changes in your spine.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) – CT scans provide a comprehensive analysis of abnormalities discovered by x-rays, creating a series of detailed images of your bones and discs, as well as spinal conditions.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce an image that is very helpful for assessing the spinal cord and identifying herniated discs, blood clots, and masses near the spine.
Urgent medical care is critical to minimizing the extent of damage to your spine following a spinal nerve injury. Treatment begins at the scene of the accident with necessary immobilization in a gentle but fast manner. Following immobilization and diagnosis, a treatment plan can be created for you. Early stages of treatment may include intubation and continued immobilization. Next, Dr. Carll will decide whether surgery will be necessary to stabilize your spine. Surgery is often utilized to remove bone fragments, foreign objects, herniated discs, and fractured vertebra. It is also performed to stabilize the spine, preventing future damage and/or pain.
Hope and Healing
A spinal cord injury can affect every area of your life, but medical breakthroughs are occurring every day to give hope to people who have suffered serious spinal injuries. For spinal nerve injuries that cause pain, numbness, and discomfort, Dr. Carll and his medical team offer support and advanced medical care to help alleviate the physical effects of this damage, sometimes without surgery. If you or a loved one have experienced spinal nerve damage, Spine Center of North Texas may have the answers. Call one of our offices today to schedule an appointment.