Acute Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury is a damage that may occur in any part of the spinal cord or nerves, which normally causes loss of function either permanently or temporarily. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and tissues that the vertebrae bones of the spine contains and protects.

Spinal cord injuries normally result from an unpredictable accident or a violent event. The spinal cord may be damaged as a result of:
  • A violent attack such as a gunshot or stabbing
  • Falling from a significant height
  • Head or spinal injuries during sporting events
  • Electrical accidents
  • Severe twisting of the middle portion of the torso

When to see a doctor?

After a trauma, seek immediate medical attention, especially if you experience the following:

  • Extreme pain or pressure on the neck, head or back
  • Tingling or loss sensation on the hand, fingers, feet or toes
  • Complete or partial loss of control over any part of the body
  • Bowel or urinary bowel urgency, incontinence or retention
  • Pain or pressure in the thorax
  • Impaired breathing after the injury
  • Unusual lumps on the head or spine

How are acute traumatic spinal cord injuries treated?

Acute traumatic spinal cord injuries require immediate medical attention. In the emergency room, Dr Maharaj will maintain your breathing ability, help prevent shock and immobilise your neck to prevent further damage to the spinal cord. You may be admitted to the intensive care for treatment to avoid possible complications such as stool or urine retention, respiratory or cardiovascular difficulty and formation of deep vein blood clots. Emergency surgery may be done by Dr Maharaj to remove fragments of the bones, foreign objects, correct herniated discs or fractured vertebrae, which may be compressing the spine. Surgery may be done to also stabilise the spine to help prevent future pain or deformity.

  • Wilder Penfield

    The brain is an organ of density. It holds within its humming mechanism secrets that will determine the future of the human race.

    Wilder Penfield