When you’re in a serious auto collision, there is a risk that your spinal cord could be damaged. A spinal cord injury may interfere with the normal motor functions, sensory input and autonomic functions, so it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
One of the spinal injuries that you could suffer is a spinal dislocation. The term itself doesn’t necessarily mean that a bone has been dislocated, unlike with other body parts. Instead, it could mean that a person has a subluxation or fracture.
This variance in what a dislocation is may confuse some people, which is why it’s a good idea to learn more about your exact injury from your medical provider. If you have a dislocated vertebra, for example, you will need to look into the options to have it placed correctly, such as surgery.
What happens if a vertebra is dislocated?
It depends on the severity of the dislocation and where it is located. For a minor dislocation where the spinal cord is not involved, the victim may have spinal instability but no numbness or unusual sensations. A dislocation that impacts and pinches or damages the spinal cord could lead to paralysis, pain and other sensations.
With spinal misalignments, there are a few things that medical providers can do to help, but their options will be limited based on where the injury is and how it is affecting the spinal cord and musculature. Conservative options, like minor manipulations and pain medications, may be enough for some patients. For others, surgery may be necessary to correct the dislocation and to make sure that the pressure on the spinal cord is released.
Spinal injuries are dangerous, so seek medical care
Any time you have a spinal injury, it’s essential to seek medical attention. Though these injuries may not end up being life-threatening or leading to long-term disability, the potential for that to happen is there. You need to seek medical attention as soon as you can following a car accident, so that you can receive treatment quickly and reduce the likelihood of serious complications that could impact you for life.