HealthWACH: Fixing faulty spines



Spinal cord injuries are one of the most painful injuries of the body. Not only is it extremely dangerous to injure your neck or spine, but it can affect the movement of the rest of the body. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are primarily common in adults, but children sometimes suffer from them too. Doctors diagnose a spinal cord injury by the level and type. This is determined by the location of injury on the spinal cord and the loss of feeling or numbness. Spinal cord injuries can aggravate discs and nerves in the back and cause them to over compensate for the injured nervous system.

Common causes of spinal cord injuries are typically due to physical accidents such as:

  • Car accidents

  • Sports injury

  • A fall from an extreme height

  • Stab or bullet wound

  • Severe twist of the middle body

  • Diving accident

The severity of a spinal cord injury relates to the place of the injury on the spinal cord. â??The completenessâ?? is also a way to identify how severe a spinal injury is. There are two classifications of severity; complete and incomplete. A complete injury is if all sensory and motor function is obsolete below the spinal injury and an incomplete injury is if there is some motor and sensory activity beneath the spinal injury. Some symptoms include:

  • Paralysis (loss of movement) in arms or legs

  • Trouble walking

  • Headache, neck pain or stiff neck

  • Tingling or numbness in leg or arm

  • Head is in unusual position

A failed back or neck surgery is a fear of all patients who are in need of back or spinal cord surgery and they have a reason to be. Every one out of three back surgeries will have to be re-attempted. Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) characterizes the case of those who have had an unsuccessful outcome with spine or back surgery. But now, there is a procedure for spine injuries that can straighten the spine and replace damaged discs in the back. Dr. Kenneth Light of San Francisco, California performs disc replacement surgeries that relieve any back pain and fix what previous doctors could not. This procedure also improves a patientâ??s range of motion in the back and neck. With a quick recovery rate, more patients are looking more into this procedure than traditional surgery.