Spinal cord injuries have significant physical, neurological and financial effects. Because the consequences of spinal cord injuries are so serious, it is helpful to understand the most common reasons they occur. A 2013 study shared by the National Institute of Health is one of the most conclusive and comprehensive pieces of research on this topic.
According to the findings, some of the most prevalent causes of spinal cord injuries are car accidents, motorcycle crashes and medical and surgical complications. Continue reading below for more information on each of these causes.
1. Auto accidents
The aforementioned study found that motor vehicle collisions accounted for 31.5 percent of spinal cord injuries. This was the leading contributing factor for individuals 45 years old or younger. Car accidents often cause a sudden and traumatic impact to the spine, causing vertebrae to fracture, crush, dislocate or compress.
2. Motorcycle accidents
Motorcycle riders have significantly less protection than motorists. This lack of protection means motorcycle collisions can easily result in serious damage to the spinal cord. The study found that spinal cord injuries from motorcycle crashes were more likely to occur in men and during the weekends.
3. Medical and surgical problems
While doctors, pharmacists and other health care professionals prevent and treat injuries, they can also cause them. Medical errors can result in severe spinal cord injuries. Surgical complications, such as infections, can compress the spinal cord. During surgery, the surgeon could also penetrate or cut your spinal cord could. These complications were the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries for children younger than 16 years old and the third leading cause for people over 60 years old.
Though these are some of the most common sources of spinal cord injuries, there are many others, including falls and gunshot wounds. No matter the precise cause, these injuries can be physically, mentally and financially debilitating.