Clearwater Spinal Cord Injury Doctor

There are few scarier words in the English language than spinal cord injury. They bring forth a vision of paraplegia or quadriplegia, permanent impairment, and life in a wheelchair. While these severe types of spinal cord injury are a harsh reality, many other patients suffer from spinal cord injuries that are treatable, and that treatment not only relieves pain but also restores mobility.

A Clearwater spinal cord injury doctor can determine whether pain, loss of sensation, and other common symptoms stem from a spinal cord injury and plan appropriate treatment. A seasoned spine surgeon can then work with you to help you relieve your back pain and get back to your life.

Injuries from Issues with the Spinal Canal

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces within the spine become narrow. It most often appears in the neck or the lower back. Symptoms, including pain, muscle weakness, and tingling generally get worse over time. Spinal stenosis usually results from the formation of bone spurs growing into the spinal canal.

As we age, the ligaments in the spine become tougher and less flexible and can irritate the spinal canal. Herniated discs and tumors can also result in spinal stenosis. Older people are at greatest risk of spinal stenosis, although younger people may be affected if the stenosis results from trauma and a vertebra is broken. For more information, get in touch with a Clearwater spinal cord injury doctor today.

Pressure on Nerve Roots

Cauda equine syndrome results when the spinal canal beneath the spinal cord narrows, pressuring the nerve roots. This compression may happen due to factors such as fractures, hematomas, herniated discs, tumors, spinal stenosis, or ankylosing spondylitis, which is spinal inflammatory disorder. Symptoms include loss of feeling in the buttocks, legs, and genitals, as well as loss of reflexes in the lower legs.

Some people with cauda equine syndrome become incontinent, losing control of their bowels or bladder. This is an emergency situation requiring prompt medical attention.

Spinal Cord Compression

Any condition that puts pressure on the spinal cord can result in spinal cord compression. Such compression may occur anywhere in the length of the spine, from the neck to the lower back. Common causes of spinal cord compression include osteoarthritis, herniated discs and fractures, as well as infection, inflammation, and tumors. A person suffering from scoliosis or any other disorder resulting in back alignment issues is especially vulnerable to spinal cord compression and should visit a Clearwater spinal cord injury doctor soon.

Symptoms of Spinal Injuries

Some patients with spinal cord compression do not experience any symptoms, but for others symptoms include:

  • Pain and stiffness
  • Loss of sensation
  • Weakness
  • Hand coordination problems
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Foot drop, resulting in a limp

Contacting a Spinal Cord Injury Doctor in Clearwater

Many of these spinal cord injuries have similar symptoms and similar causes, so a doctor must order various tests to make an accurate diagnosis. Such tests not only include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, but also blood tests to determine whether an infection is present and possibly a bone scan. The patient is also examined and a complete medical history is taken. Once the doctor receives the test results, treatment can begin.

For some patients, surgery is necessary, while others may recover with physical therapy, a special exercise regimen, and the use of over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If you experience any of the symptoms of a possible spinal cord injury, call a Clearwater spinal cord injury doctor today and make an appointment. However, if your symptoms involve lack of bladder or bowel control or paralysis, seek immediate medical attention at the emergency room.