Car accidents can cause many different types of injuries and some of them can be devastating. The back and spine are particularly vulnerable when you experience sudden trauma in a car accident. One type of back injury that is sometimes caused by a car accident is scoliosis, which is a curvature of the spine. A person with scoliosis has an abnormally shaped spine which is curved, usually in a C or S shape.
The cause of scoliosis can’t always be identified. Some of the known causes of scoliosis include:
- Congenital conditions where the bones fail to form properly
- Degenerative conditions such as muscular dystrophy
- Degeneration of spinal disks late in life
- Trauma from a car accident or other sudden injury
How Trauma Can Cause Scoliosis
The individual bones of the spinal column are called vertebrae, and they are designed to protect the spinal cord. In human beings, the spine is fairly straight in order to keep people upright. Trauma or other types of changes to the vertebrae or the disks between them can cause the spine to become curved.
Traumatic scoliosis can happen because of an accident or surgery. If you experience physical trauma to your spine that isn’t treated properly, the vertebrae of the spine can be damaged and affect curvature. For example, this could happen because of fractures of the spine that were never diagnosed and don’t heal properly.
Signs of Traumatic Scoliosis
If you have any signs of back pain or discomfort after a car accident, it’s very important that you have a doctor thoroughly examine your spine. The extent of a back injury isn’t always apparent at first, and improper treatment of your back injury could result in the curvature of your spine.
Besides pain, other signs of traumatic scoliosis include:
- Uneven shoulders
- Numbness or tingling in arms or legs
- One hip is higher than the other, or both are unusually high
- Rib cage is uneven
Diagnosing and Treating Back Pain After a Car Accident
Seek medical care for any kind of back pain after a car accident, even if it seems to be mild. What seems to be a very minor injury can quickly turn into excruciating pain. Your doctor will probably start evaluating your back injury by taking an X-ray which will help to identify any structural changes to your spinal column. He or she may order other imaging tests in order to clearly identify the extent of your injuries.
Untreated problems with disks between vertebrae or the vertebrae themselves can lead to chronic pain or damage to the curvature of the spine. If your doctor identifies any back problems such as broken vertebrae, herniated disks or signs of traumatic scoliosis, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible and to follow all instructions given to you by your doctor.
If you are diagnosed with traumatic scoliosis, the goal of treatment will be to decrease pain and prevent it from progressing any further. You may have to wear a back brace. Exercise and physical therapy may also help to improve your symptoms of pain and discomfort. If your spinal injury is very serious, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Getting Legal Help
If you have suffered a back injury in a California accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another driver, it’s a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Fill out the form on this page to get in touch with the experts at Kuvara Law Firm.
One of our lawyers will get back to you soon to discuss the details of your accident and your back injuries. We offer a free consultation and we want to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.