Raquimedular trauma: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Definition:

A Raquimedular Trauma is a damage to the spinal cord which presents an extremely serious type of physical trauma that will likely have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life.

The spinal cord is a set of nerves and other tissues that the vertebrae of the spine contain and protect, the vertebrae are the bones stacked one on top of the other that make up the spinal column.

The spine contains many nerves and extends from the base of the brain to the back, and ends near the buttocks.

The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages from the brain to all parts of the body, it also sends messages from the body to the brain. We can perceive the pain and move the limbs due to messages sent through the spinal cord.

If the spinal cord suffers an injury, some or all of these impulses may not be able to “send.” The result is a total or partial loss of sensation and mobility below the injury.

A spinal cord injury closer to the neck will usually cause paralysis in a larger part of the body than one in the lower back area.

Causes

A spinal cord injury is often the result of an unpredictable accident or violent event. For example:

  • A violent attack like a stabbing or a shot.
  • Dive into very shallow water and hit the bottom.
  • Trauma during a car accident, specifically traumatism in the face, head and neck, back or chest region.
  • Fall from a significant height.
  • Head or spinal injuries during sporting events.
  • Electrical accidents
  • Severe rotation of the middle torso.

symptom

  • Problems to walk.
  • Loss of control of the bladder or bowels.
  • Inability to move the arms or legs.
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling in the extremities.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Headache.
  • Pain, pressure and stiffness in the area of ​​the back or neck.
  • Signs of shock.
  • Unnatural positioning of the head.

First aid

What should I do if I suspect a spinal cord injury?

If you think you or someone else has a spinal cord injury, follow the procedure below:

  • Call emergency immediately. The sooner medical help arrives, the better.
  • Do not move the person or bother him in any way unless absolutely necessary. This includes repositioning the head of the person or trying to remove a helmet.
  • Encourage the person to remain as still as possible, even if he feels he is able to get up and walk on his own.
  • If the person does not breathe, perform CPR. However, do not tilt your head back, instead, move your jaw forward.
  • When the person arrives at the hospital, the doctors will perform a physical neurological examination. This will help them determine if there is a spinal cord injury and where.

Diagnostic tools that doctors can use include:

  • Computed tomography.
  • Magnetic resonances.
  • X-rays of the spine.
  • Evoked potential test, which measures how quickly nerve signals reach the brain.

Prevention

Because spinal cord injuries are often due to unpredictable events, the best thing you can do is reduce your risk. Some risk reduction measures include:

  • Always wear a seat belt while in a car.
  • Wear the appropriate protective equipment while practicing sports.
  • Never immerse yourself in the water unless you have first examined it to make sure it is deep enough and free of rocks.

Long-term perspective

Some people lead a full and productive life after a spinal cord injury. However, there are severe potential effects of a spinal cord injury.

The vast majority of people will need assistive devices, such as walkers or wheelchairs, to deal with the loss of mobility, and some may even be paralyzed from the neck down.

You may need help with activities of daily living and learn to perform tasks differently.
Pressure ulcers and urinary tract infections are common complications.

You may also have to undergo intense rehabilitation treatment for your spinal cord injury.