Spine injuries can be life-altering and can happen to anyone, at any time. If you or a loved one have suffered a spine injury due to the negligence of another, it is important to speak with a lawyer immediately.
Understanding the Spine
What may seem like a highly technical and scientific part of our bodies is actually quite simple. And in personal injury cases, where spinal injuries are some of the most common injuries, it is of the utmost importance that you understand your injury and your body.
The spine, commonly referred to as the “backbone,” is made up of 33 individual bones called vertebrae. Those vertebrae are divided up into five regions:
1. Cervical, 2. Thoracic, 3. Lumbar, 4. Sacral, and 5. Coccygeal.
The cervical region, often referred to as the neck, is made up of seven vertebrae the two topmost of which are connected to your skull, and all of which support your head. The thoracic region (think upper-back) is underneath the cervical region and is made up of 12 vertebrae.
The thoracic vertebrae support your rib cage to help protect your heart and lungs. The lumbar region, or low-back, is made up of five vertebrae and bears the weight of your body. Next, the Sacrum region is made up of five vertebrae that are fused together creating the “pelvic girdle,” a bony structure that connects your legs to your body and also supports your intestines, bladder and other organs.
Last, but certainly not least, the Coccygeal region, or Coccyx, is fused like the sacrum, and makes up the three to five vertebrae at the very bottom of your spine. While you may only acknowledge this part of your spine on those unlucky occasions when you fall heavily on your rear, an undoubtedly painful event, the coccyx also serves an important purpose in your body’s functioning. Though small, the coccyx is an attachment site for tendons, ligaments, and muscles, and stabilizes your body while you are in a sitting position.
In between each vertebrae rests a fibrocartilage structure called a “disc.” Discs allow your spine to move while holding the vertebrae together. On the other hand, they also keep the vertebrae apart, in a good way. Think of your discs as shock absorbers that allow you to engage in vigorous physical activity while preventing compression of your vertebrae.
While discs serve their purposes of separating vertebrae, there are areas where the vertebrae come in contact. Those areas are called “facets joints.” There are two facet joints for each vertebra. We owe our essential movements (twisting and bending forward, backward, and side to side) to facet joints.
Together, the vertebrae and discs create an interior space that runs the length of your spine: the spinal canal. The spinal canal holds the spinal cord, an essential part of our anatomy. Your spinal cord is made of nerves and connects to your brain, thereby controlling senses, muscles, and use of your limbs.
What is a Spine Injury?
Spine injuries can occur from any type of traumatic incident, such as a slip and fall, a motor vehicle accident, a bicycle accident, a pedestrian accident, or a construction site accident. Spine injuries can include injury to the spinal cord, discs, vertebra, and spinal nerves. Symptoms from spine injuries can include:
• Numbness and tingling
• Radiating pain
• Loss of range of motion
• Difficulty sleeping
• Difficulty performing activities of daily living
• Emotional distress
• Loss of Consortium
These injuries, and the required medical care, can be complicated and difficult to obtain. This is why at Lowe Lazar Law we make it priority to make sure our clients see the doctors they need immediately. We are here to help. It is important to make sure the attorney you hire is experienced with spine injuries. At Lowe Lazar Law, we have years of experience and success, including multiple trial verdicts in spine injury cases, to best help you through this difficult juncture.