Spinal Trauma Treated by Mercy’s Best Spine Surgeons


This video shows the anatomy of the spine in the neck and common injuries in this area.

Patients from Baltimore and across the Mid-Atlantic region turn to the spine surgeons at The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy for their expertise and commitment to helping patients who have experienced spinal trauma. Our team of physicians has dedicated their careers to developing new and improved operations for reconstructing the injured spine and offer patients the care and support necessary when dealing with spinal trauma.

About the Condition

Spinal trauma refers to any injury to the spinal cord that is not caused by disease. Spinal trauma may rupture ligaments or fracture vertebrae in the neck or back. More severe injuries can damage the spinal cord or nerve roots to cause paralysis or regional pain and weakness. Some spinal injuries initially may not appear to be serious, but can leave the spinal column unstable and subject to progressive deformity and/or chronic pain.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of spinal trauma depend on the location of the trauma. Spinal trauma or spinal cord injuries can cause some of the following symptoms:

  • Weakness at and below the injury site
  • Lack of feeling at and below the injury site
  • Abnormal bowel and bladder control
  • Pain
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Blood pressure and heart rate problems

Spinal trauma diagnosis can be difficult. When there is even a slight appearance of a spinal trauma, the spine must be immobilized until a spinal injury is ruled out. Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans or MRIs are used to view the entire spine to make a diagnosis. Ongoing exams and tests may be needed to develop the best possible treatment options for each individual spinal trauma.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Initial treatment for spinal trauma includes immediate immobilization of the neck and back and medications to reduce swelling. Spinal surgery may be needed to assess the extent of the spinal injury and stabilize the spine. The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy has around-the-clock spine surgeon coverage to provide immediate evaluation and treatment for patients with spinal injury. Once the spine is stabilized with bracing or surgery, intensive occupational and/or physical therapy often helps speed recovery.

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