This is Part IV of VI in my Personal Injury Medical Terms Glossary. This is the final part in the portion of this glossary which relates to the spine and common injuries which occur as a result of a slip and fall, a car accident, a motorcycle accident, a bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident. Tomorrow, I will begin a two part series which will attempt to create a glossary of terms related to traumatic brain injuries.
If you read yesterday’s blog you can skip this paragraph, but it might be helpful to understanding some of the definitions included in this segment of the glossary. Prior to providing a list of specific medical terms, I am going to attempt to provide an easy to digest overview of the back. Your spinal column consists of 31 vertebrae which are bones stacked upon one another which house and protect the spinal canal. The individual vertebrae in the vertebral column are separated by discs. The discs in your spine allow for movement and act as shock absorbers. Each disc is made up of a center portion of a gel like material which is surrounded fibrous material that keeps the gel in place. Think of a jelly doughnut. The jelly is the nucleus and the surrounding doughnut is the annulus. If the doughnut is compressed the jelly will move to the edges and out of the center where it belongs.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injury
The sacral area of the spine is located bottom of the spinal column in the hip area. It may be noted by the shorthand S1-S5 which describes each vertebra in the sacral region. Spinal cord injuries occur when the bones protecting the spinal cord are damaged causing the spinal cord to be damaged. Injuries to the sacral area of the spinal cord typically cause incontinence issues and sexual dysfunction.
The sacrum is a large, triangular bone located at the base of spine and lies between the fifth segment of the lumbar spine and the tailbone. From a functional standpoint, the sacrum connects the hip bones to the spine.
Sciatica is a term that describes pain and/or numbness which originates in the lower back and radiates down the leg(s). Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, but is instead a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Sciatica can be caused by a slip and fall, a car accident, a motorcycle accident, a bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident.
The spine, otherwise referred to as your backbone, is a column of vertebral bones stacked upon one another separated by discs. Each vertebra has a hole in its center which lines up with the vertebra above and below. The spinal canal is the opening in the vertebrae through which the spinal cord runs.
The spinal cord is long bundle of nerves that extends from the brainstem to the lumbar region of the back. Essentially, the spinal cord transmits messages from the brain to the rest of your body. The spinal cord also has neural circuits that can independently control numerous reflexes.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries occur when the bones protecting the spinal cord are damaged causing the spinal cord to be damaged. Spinal cord injuries are classified as complete or incomplete. An incomplete spinal cord injury means that some of the ability to transmit messages is still possible. There still may be some ability to move or perceive sensations below the point of injury in an incomplete spinal injury.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces in the spine which can cause pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. When one vertebra slips forward onto another it can narrow the spinal canal. Other injuries associated with accidents also can cause spinal stenosis such as dislocation of the spine or burst fractures which actually send bone fragments into the spinal canal.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury
The thoracic area of the spine is located in the center of the spine and extends from the base of the neck down to the end of the rib cage. It may be noted by the shorthand T1-C12 which describes each vertebra in the thoracic region. Spinal cord injuries occur when the bones protecting the spinal cord are damaged causing the spinal cord to be damaged. Injuries to the thoracic area of the spinal cord may cause complete paralysis beginning at the location of the injury extending down. Many times this injury results in paraplegia.
Vertebrae are the bones which comprise the backbone. The vertebra are complex structures each consisting of bone and cartilage. There is a hole in each vertebra that forms the spinal column and houses the spinal cord.
Whiplash is a non-medical term that is given to an injury which is very common in rear end car accidents. The name is derived from the manner in which the head snaps back then forward and back again causing injury to the neck and middle of the spine. Often times the pain associated with whiplash does manifest itself until several days after the accident. The medical term for whiplash is cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD).
Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury law firm today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a slip and fall, a car accident, a motorcycle accident, a bicycle accident or a pedestrian accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
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