In statistics, injuries of the spine occupy, according to various data, from 2 to 12%. But the consequences of injuries of the spine and spinal cord are in most cases very serious and remain for life.
Types of injury to the spine
There are several classifications of spine injuries.
In the presence of a violation of the integrity of the skin and tissues surrounding the vertebrae, the damage is divided into closed and open.
In place of injury, injury to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine is distinguished.
By the nature of damage to the vertebrae there are strokes, fractures, dislocations and subluxations, fractures, distortions (rupture of articular bags or a connection between the vertebrae).
Spine injuries can also be stable and unstable. An injury is considered unstable if the deformation that has occurred through the damage increases over time. Most often these are dislocations and subluxations, as well as injuries as a result of stretching or displacement of the vertebral column.
If at the injury of the spine was damaged the spinal cord, then such an injury is considered complicated, if not damaged - that is uncomplicated.
The severity of the effects of spinal injury
The severity of the consequences of spinal trauma affects a lot of factors:
- Localization of damage;
- The speed and correctness of the first medical aid;
- Presence of spinal cord injury;
- The duration and quality of the rehabilitation period;
- Age and physical condition of the patient and others.
More than 50% of spine injuries result in disability. The most terrible consequences occur when injuries to the cervical spine: paralysis and paresis of all extremities, pelvic dysfunction, respiratory failure.
If the damage is localized in the first cervical vertebrae, the patient needs lifelong artificial ventilation of the lungs and is not capable of self-care.
In case of injury to the chest, the victim retains the function of the movement of hands, but paralysis of the lower extremities, pelvic disorders develops. Maybe weakening of breath. Damage in the lumbar region can cause paralysis of all or only lower legs, dysfunction of the pelvic organs.
Groups of consequences of spinal injury
You can conditionally distinguish several groups of the effects of spinal injuries.
- Inflammatory complications and associated infections. In the early period, immediately after the injury, constipation pneumonia may occur due to the sedentricularity of the victim. Also, at this time there are bedsores that can be infected and even lead to the development of sepsis. In open injuries, the infection sometimes affects the spinal cord itself with its membranes, as well as the bone matter of the vertebrae (osteomyelitis). Subsequently, in the later period, chronic inflammation of the membranes of the spinal cord may develop.
- Neurotrophic and vascular complications. Their reason is the lack of innervation of tissues and organs. In soft tissues, non-toxic trophic ulcers are formed, the work of internal organs (gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, pancreas), heart (arrhythmias, heart rate abatement, etc.) is violated. Of vascular disorders, the most dangerous is thrombosis of the veins of the lower limb.
- Violation of pelvic organs functioning. Detected by disorders of the processes of defecation and urination.
- Orthopedic effects of spinal injury. This is a progressive deformation of the vertebral column, disturbances of the spine, secondary dislocations and subluxations, degenerative changes in the bone tissue, compression of the spinal cord due to narrowing of the spinal canal. These phenomena cause pain, disturbances in the mobility of the damaged spine, as well as impaired functioning of the spinal cord.