Spinal Cord Injuries – SCIs
Spinal cord injuries can have a lasting impact on a person. If left untreated, spinal injuries could impact the motor and sensory functions of the cord. Modern day spinal cord surgeries reduce the pain and suffering associated with spinal injuries.
However, surgeons need to monitor spinal injury surgeries carefully. It is now a standard procedure to take extra care during spinal surgery to prevent any deformity or scoliosis of the spine. It has been established that acute monitoring helps prevent loss of muscular function and paralysis. In a spinal cord surgery, paraplegia and quadriplegia are probable complications that can occur.
The entire medical team of surgeons, anesthesiologists needs to cautiously monitor spinal cord surgeries to avoid surgical complications.
Spinal correction surgeries address correction of spinal deformities of complex nature. Herniation of the spinal disc could compress the spinal cord. Hematoma or blood/fluid collection, fracture of the vertebra, an infection or even a tumor could cause spinal compression. However, in spite of standard care, sensory changes that are transient, numbness in arms and legs, pain & suffering are some of the complications that arise during or after spinal cord surgeries. These complications could arise due to negligence of the surgeons or the attending medical team.
Emergency Medical Intervention
Spinal cord injury may need immediate surgical intervention post automobile accidents, slip & fall accidents, blunt force trauma due to physical assault, high-rise fall in case of construction workers. If there is a worsening neurologic dysfunction, emergency surgical intervention could be necessitated. The surgeon decides whether an emergency intervention is required, based on the complexity of the injury and the extent of damage.
The orthopedic surgeon has a greater role in handling an SCI patient. The surgeon is required to ensure immobilization and complete evaluation of the patient in the ER. Accurate diagnosis follows this procedure that includes ruling out of additional complications arising out of SCI. Traumatic spinal injuries affect the ability of the spinal cord to regulate blood flow in the area of injury, and this leads to complications in the blood flow.
Hence it is imperative that the orthopedic surgeon works towards immediate medical management of blood flow and oxygen supply and prevention of any neurogenic shock. This situation may necessitate ventilation, support systems to stabilize and regulate blood pressure and prevention of the onset of anemia.
Interventional Spinal Surgeries
Different kinds of spinal injury surgeries include:
· Multilevel Spinal Fusion
· Anterior Cervical Discectomy
· Bone Grafting
· Scoliosis correction or spinal alignment surgeries
· Endoscopic Spinal Surgery
· Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
Medical Negligence and Malpractice in Spinal Injury Surgeries
Medical negligence in spinal injury surgeries could lead to:
· Interactions due to drug therapy
· Incorrect surgery
· Wrong diagnosis of neurological disorders
· Nerve damage in treatment or surgery
· Post-operative infections, inadequate care
· Undiagnosed, incorrect, delayed medical diagnosis
· Hypoxia, anesthesia errors
· Failure of medical equipment, ER related errors
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