Tarpon Springs Spinal Cord Injury Doctor

When most people think of spinal cord injuries, they envision paraplegia or quadriplegia resulting from a terrible accident. These do make up a large percentage of spinal cord injuries, but not all such injuries result from trauma.

A Tarpon Springs spinal cord injury doctor can perform a thorough examination and conduct tests to determine the exact cause of a spinal cord injury. They can then create a treatment plan so that the issue is treated immediately and correctly.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Traumatic spinal cord injuries most often occur because of motor vehicle accidents, but they are not the sole cause. Sports injuries, gunshot wounds, and falls may also cause spinal cord injuries. These injuries, in which a person loses feeling and movement either below the waist (paraplegia) or below the neck (quadriplegia) are life-threatening and require immediate attention in an emergency room. However, a person can also suffer from non-traumatic injuries. Though less urgent, they still require diagnosis and treatment.

Compression Injuries

Spinal cord compression may occur anywhere along the spinal cord, which runs from the neck to the lower back. This compression may result not only in discomfort, but in mobility problems. Such compression may result from a variety of common back problems, including herniated discs, broken vertebrae, arthritis, hematoma, tumors, and infection.

Depending on the cause, symptoms of spinal cord compression may get worse over time or appear suddenly. Suspect possible spinal cord compression if any of the following symptoms appear:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Back pain
  • Strange sensations
  • Odd reflex actions
  • Stiffness

Additionally, men who suddenly have issues with erectile dysfunction may have issues with spinal cord compression.

Diagnosis and Treatment in Tarpon Springs

After performing a physical exam, a Tarpon Springs spinal cord injury doctor may order further tests to determine the cause of the injury. This may include X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. Once a diagnosis is made, it is time for treatment decisions. Such treatment for spinal cord compression ranges from minimally invasive surgeries to conventional open back operations. Possible spinal cord injury treatments may include:

  • Removal of a herniated disc via discectomy
  • Removal of herniated disc material via a microdiscectomy
  • Disc replacement with an artificial disc
  • Pain relief via percutaneous discectomy, a guided needle approach when the disc bulges into the spinal cord but has not ruptured
  • If osteoarthritis causes a fracture, kyphoplasty is performed to treat the break
  • Surgical removal of the lamina, known as laminectomy, to relieve pressure on spinal cord nerves
  • Fusion of the small spine bones to ease pain and restore mobility

Many of these procedures are minimally invasive, so the patient spends little or no time in the hospital. Recovery is faster for minimally invasive procedures, but patients should know that it is possible a doctor will find while performing the operation that the compression is more extensive than expected and open back surgery is necessary. However, not all patients require surgery to correct spinal compression. Some patients may find pain relief with joint or epidural steroid injections. A Tarpon Springs spinal cord injury doctor can help determine what treatment is necessary.

Contacting a Spinal Cord Injury Doctor in Tarpon Springs

If you or a loved one suffers a spinal cord injury, you need the services of an experienced Tarpon Springs spinal cord injury doctor to determine the exact nature of the injury and the right procedure for correction. A doctor can help you fully understand diagnostic and treatment procedures and options so that you can feel confident in your choice. Call today and arrange a consultation.