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Spinal Stenosis Caused by A Car Accident

March 20, 2013

Stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal is narrowed. The Spinal canal is a long tunnel running through the center of the spine, which contains the spinal cord and the nerve roots. When this canal is too narrow, the spinal cord and the nerve roots may be compressed. The most common symptoms that can occur due to compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots are as follows:

  • neck, shoulder, arm or hand pain

  • weakness in the arms or legs

  • numbness or tingling down the arms or legs

  • lack of coordination

  • imbalance when walking

  • bladder or bowel incontinence

There are two types of Spinal Stenosis. The first is Primary Stenosis, which means a person is born with the condition; some people are simply born with narrower spinal canals than others. Primary stenosis may not present problems early in life, but instead may cause neck or back pain with aging. The second type of Spinal Stenosis is Acquired Stenosis; this type of stenosis is most often the result of a traumatic injury. Acquired stenosis is much more common than primary stenosis.

In cases of car accidents, both types of Stenosis can occur, meaning that the trauma to the spine can actually cause the narrowing which leads to pressure on the nerve roots or the trauma to the spine can cause a dormant condition to become a disabling reality. The sudden force of a car accident can result in serious and severe symptoms in a patient having a pre-existing stenosis. They were not in any pain before the automobile wreck, but the trauma of the wreck has caused further narrowing, which in turn causes the nerve roots to be compressed and can cause the symptoms listed above.

Treatment of Spinal Stenosis depends upon the degree of the narrowing and also on whether the pain can be alleviated with conservative treatment. Some forms of conservative treatment include:

  • alternative treatment such as acupuncture or massage

  • easy exercises and swimming

  • good posture and proper body mechanics

  • the use of over-the-counter NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation such as aspirin, ibuprofen, an naproxen

  • chiropractic care

  • physical therapy

  • steroid injections.

In situations where the pain cannot be controlled with conservative treatments, a surgical procedure may be recommended.

Either way, if you are suffering from Spinal Stenosis as the result of an automobile collision, you need a lawyer on your side. The defendant insurance may attempt to deny that your injury was caused the wreck, especially if your Stenosis is caused by osteophyte complex or some other pre-existing condition.

An experienced injury lawyer knows how to handle these arguments and can assist you with getting your injury properly documented by highly specialized physicians.

If you have any questions about this condition or how it relates to being injured in an car accident, contact us now.