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Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys

Missouri Car Crash Injuries: Spinal Fractures Part 2, Extension Fractures

When an EMT or rescue worker arrives at a Missouri car accident scene, his first duty to the patient is to evaluate the patient's airway, breathing and circulation. Once the EMT is certain that the patient is not at immediate risk, he will stabilize the patient's back and neck. Nearly all Missouri car crash victims are immobilized using a cervical collar and backboard before they are transported to the hospital.


Stabilization devices such as cervical collars and backboards protect the spine from further injury when an accident victim has suffered a vertebral fracture. It is difficult for an EMT in the field to judge the extent of injury to an accident victim's neck and back. Spinal fractures can only be diagnosed in the hospital. So, until a complete evaluation is done in the emergency room, the rescue worker must assume there has been an injury and act accordingly.


In the hospital, imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays are used to detect vertebral fractures. The doctor will also perform neurological tests to determine if there has been an injury to the spinal cord or nerves.


Extension Fractures
Extension fractures are the second type of vertebral fracture. The name refers to the fact that these injuries occur when the spine is extended - the vertebra is literally pulled apart. Extension fractures commonly occur when the upper body is violently thrown forward in a Kansas City head-on car crash while the lower body is held in place by a lap-only seat belt.


Symptoms include pain and swelling around the site of the fracture. If the nerve was damaged, the injury victim may feel weakness, numbness or pain in the arms and legs. If there is severe nerve damage, there may be difficulty walking or moving, difficulty controlling the bowels or bladder, or paralysis.


In many cases, vertebral extension fractures are treated non-surgically. The victim's spine is immobilized in a cast or back brace for about 12 weeks. However, if there is damage to the nerves, ligaments, or discs of the spine, surgery is necessary. After either type of treatment, the accident victim will need extensive physical therapy before he can resume his normal activities. In some cases, the Missouri accident victim is left partially paralyzed.


Vertebral extension fractures are severe car crash injuries that require months of treatment. However, after a Kansas City car crash, it may be difficult to make recovering from your injuries your first priority - especially if you are worried about the increasing amount of medical bills. Contact the Kansas City car accident attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys. Let us take care of your insurance worries, so you can concentrate on your recovery. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 888-348-2616.


Our Kansas City car accident attorneys have written a book for Missouri accident victims. When you call, ask for your FREE copy of 10 Essential Steps You Must Take To Protect Your Injury Claim.


Read more about Spinal Fractures in Part 3 of this series. 

James Roswold
James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.

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