Spinal Trauma

Spinal Trauma, or spinal cord injury, is typically associated with motor vehicle or fall accidents that result in spinal fractures and/or movement (slippage) of vertebral bodies. These events can cause sudden compression of the spinal cord or nerves which require immediate treatment. Spinal fractures caused by trauma can occur anywhere on the spine, including bones in the neck or cervical spine, bones in the upper back or thoracic spine, the lower back or lumbar spine, and the connected bone sacrum at the bottom of the spinal column.


Depending on the intensity of the trauma and what part of the spinal cord is damaged, symptoms can vary widely from pain in the limbs or back, to involuntary muscle movements, or even paralysis. Generally nerve compression in the upper (cervical) region of the spine will cause pain or numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms or hands. Nerve compression in the lower (lumbar) region of the spine will cause pain or numbness in the buttocks, thighs, claves, or feet.


Our spine doctors will conduct a complete evaluation of the sustained injuries incorporating a physical examination with diagnostic imaging to identify the entire range of the trauma. Based on the location and severity of the injuries patients may be asked to wear neck or back bracing before further treatments are initiated. (At Tower Orthopaedics we host a SelectOrtho DME department with a complete supply of medical equipment solutions.) Treatments for spinal trauma aim to reinforce fractured bones and realign the spinal processes. Minimally invasive surgical treatments include Vertebrectomy/Corpectomy, Spinal Fusion and Laminectomy, procedures that are designed to stabilize the spinal column and lower the pressure on the spinal cord.