An injury to the spinal column caused by a high-energy impact, such as a fall or a car accident, can be catastrophic. Such injuries require emergency care. If you even slightly suspect someone has injured their neck, back, or lower spine, call 9-1-1 immediately. Never move anyone who may have a traumatic neck or spine injury (un)less he or she is not in a safe location. Doing so may cause further damage.
The board-certified doctors at Dignity Health treat traumatic injuries in Arizona to help reduce pain, recover as much as function as possible, and improve quality of life. We offer orthopedic care at several of our local facilities:
Find a Doctor using our online tool or by calling (800) 792-1602.
Causes of Traumatic Injuries to the Back, Neck, & Spine
Traumatic injuries result from forceful impacts or blows. The main causes of traumatic back injuries are falls, car accidents (i)ncluding those involving farm equipment and recreational vehicles such as quad runners or boats, sports injuries, and gunshot wounds.
Symptoms of Traumatic Injuries to the Back, Neck, & Spine
Signs and symptoms of spine injuries can be subtle, which is why you should always assume a person has a spine injury until a medical professional determines otherwise. In general, the signs and symptoms of a traumatic back injury can include:
- Localized or regionalized pain that may be described as sharp, burning, or radiating
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities — for example, your arms may become numb if the neck is injured
- Complete loss of feeling or movement in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
- Difficulty breathing
- Visible spine deformity
Preventing Traumatic Back, Neck, & Spine Injuries
To reduce your risk of traumatic injury to the back, neck, or spine:
- Wear protective equipment, such as seat belts or braces, in any situation that could potentially result in spinal trauma.
- Use safety equipment, such as tethered lines, when climbing or working at great heights. Always work with a partner.
- Take precautions to reduce fall risks inside your home, paying attention to loose rugs or slippery surfaces.
- Never operate machinery while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Treatment for Traumatic Injuries at Dignity Health
Treatment depends on the severity of the injury and whether or not the spinal cord has been injured along with the structures of the spine. Traumatic vertebral fractures or dislocations often require orthopedic procedures, including back, neck, and spine surgery, to stabilize the spine and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. This may be followed by orthopedic physical therapy and physical rehabilitation. In severe cases, particularly those that include damage to the spinal cord, full recovery may not be possible.
Dignity Health provides treatment for patients in Arizona with traumatic injuries to the back, neck, and spine.