The damage your spinal cord sustains during a car accident, sports-related injury or fall compromises your mobility and can leave you partially or completely paralyzed. Seek medical attention whenever you hurt your neck, especially if you believe your spinal cord was injured. Any movement may further damage the integrity of your spine. Research involving spinal cord injuries is ongoing. Dr. Branko Skovrlj, a neurosurgeon at NU-Spine in Edison, NJ, takes advantage of the new advances in cervical spinal cord treatment. Dr. Skovrlj is a spine specialist devoted to helping you out of pain and back to living a normal life, even with a spinal injury. Call today for an appointment.
What Constitutes a Cervical Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury in your neck is a serious medical condition. A key part of your central nervous system, your spinal cord acts as the superhighway for messages between your brain and the rest of your body. When it’s damaged, you’re unable to do the simplest things, such as walking or even lifting your hand, although it depends on the severity of the injury.
There are, however, new advancements in cervical cord injury treatment. The best rated spine surgeon in New Jersey Dr. Branko Skovrlj, trained as a neurosurgeon, treats people suffering from a neck injury that may turn out to be a spinal cord injury. Dr. Skovrlj’s NU-Spine: the spine center in Edison, NJ prides itself in having the latest available treatment options for all types of back pain and neck pain, not to mention cervical spinal cord injuries.
What Are the Symptoms of a Cervical Spinal Cord Injury?
Your spinal cord injury may give you different symptoms, depending on the location and severity of the damage. At worst, you may be completely or partially paralyzed, which obviously changes your life in negative ways. At best, you feel nagging pain in your neck.
Your symptoms may progressively worsen over time to the point that you need cervical cord compression treatment. If the damage is from an accident, you may require immediate treatment by a spine specialist. In either case, a cervical spinal cord injury may lead to:
- Muscle weakness and loss of fine motor skills
- Paralysis in your torso, arms or legs
- Muscle spasms
- Breathing problems
- A loss of control over your bowel and bladder functions
- Sexual dysfunction
- Problems with your blood pressure and your heart
- Extreme back pain and neck pain
- Tingling or numbness in your hands and fingers
What Causes Cervical Spinal Cord Injury?
Most often, damage to your spinal cord originates from an accident. But you can develop spinal cord diseases, too. The most common causes of a cervical spinal cord injury include:
- Sports-related injuries
- Diving accidents
- Trampoline incidents
- Violence, such as a gunshot or stabbing
- Domestic abuse
- Infections that cause an abscess on your spinal cord
- Medical conditions like scoliosis, spondylosis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Birth injuries around the neck area of the infant
Nearly 12,000 new cases of cervical spinal cord injury happen every year in America. Of these, 42 percent of cervical vertebrae injuries are due to car accidents, mostly in the younger age group. Meanwhile, people over the age of 65 usually get spinal cord injuries from a serious fall.
What Is Cervical Spinal Cord Compression?
Cervical cord compression is another way of describing unnatural pressure that placed on your neck’s spinal cord, usually causing pain and other mobility-limiting symptoms. Your spinal cord is protected by the vertebral bones of your spinal column. When that support is compromised, your spinal cord may become damaged or compressed.
In addition to injuries, spinal compression is linked to wear and tear degeneration, bone spurs, strained or torn ligaments, and disc problems. These kinds of medical issues do not disappear on their own. In fact, they tend to worsen with time, and they can do permanent damage to your spinal nerves.
Your NJ spine surgeon determines the cause in a diagnosis, after which he develops a treatment plan. Some diagnoses that cause spinal problems in your neck include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Cervical facet syndrome
- Degenerative joint disease
- A herniated disc in your neck
- A slipped or bulging disc
- Stenosis in your cervical spine
- Cervical myelopathy
How Do You Treat a Cervical Spinal Cord Injury?
Once your spinal cord is injured, there is unfortunately no way to reverse the damage. Most cervical cord injury treatment focuses on preventing further spinal problems. To fully diagnose the extent of your spinal injury, you may need to get x-rays, an MRI or a CT scan. The initial treatment focuses on monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure and other basic bodily functions.
You may need positional cervical cord compression treatment if only parts of your spinal cord are compromised. Your Edison, NJ spine surgeon Dr. Skovrlj can better assist you once he’s examined you and asked about how your spine was injured. Different spinal problems — whether a cervical-level spinal cord compression or a cervical vertebrae injury — require different surgeries to prevent further damage. Your treatments include:
- Cervical disc replacement
- Spinal fusion
- Spinal reconstruction surgery
- Lumbar foraminotomy
- Lumbar decompression
Dr. Skovrlj selects the most appropriate surgery for your condition. When you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury in your neck, get the help you need to stabilize and move on with your life. Contact NU-Spine in Edison, NJ to schedule an appointment for an evaluation.This page was published on Mar 25, 2020, modified on Jan 26, 2021 by Dr. Branko Skovrlj (Neurosurgeon / Spine surgeon) of NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in New Jersey DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide a general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect a definitive treatment advice. It is important to consult a best in class neurosurgeon in NJ regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your local spine surgeon or Dr. Branko Skovrlj of spine center New Jersey, to schedule a consultation.