If you have suffered a recent neck injury, you should seek medical care when neck pain is:
- Continuous and persistent
- Accompanied by pain that radiates down the arms or legs accompanied by headaches, numbness, tingling, or weakness
These may be signs of an unseen fracture that has taken place in the neck.
Often the doctor will perform an X-ray study to look closely at the bones in your neck. In situations requiring further evaluation one or more of the following examinations may be employed:
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). This non X-ray study allows an evaluation of the spinal cord and nerve roots.
- CT (computed tomography). This specialized X-ray study allows careful evaluation of the bone and spinal canal.
- Myelogram (injection of a dye or contrast material into the spinal canal). This specific X-ray study also allows careful evaluation of the spinal canal and nerve roots.
- EMG (electromyogram). This test evaluates nerve and muscle function.
Collars, traction and surgery can be used to immobilize and stabilize the neck after a cervical fracture. Minor fractures can be immobilized with a collar without need for traction or surgery. A soft collar is a fairly flexible and is the least limiting. It is can be used for minor injuries or after healing has allowed the neck to become more stable. The Philadelphia collar is a firm, plastic and foam "horse collar" used to limit head and neck motion when the rigidity of a halo is not needed.
Traction can be applied by free weights on a pulley or a halo type brace. The halo brace is the most rigid cervical brace, used when limiting motion to the minimum is essential, especially with unstable cervical fractures. It can provide stability and support during the months that may be needed for the spine to heal.
Surgery may be needed to stabilize the neck and relieve pressure on the spinal cord. A variety of surgeries are available depending on the injury. Surgery to remove a damaged cushion between the discs may be done to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. After the disc is removed, the vertebrae may be merged together to provide strength. Metal plates, screws, or wires may be needed to hold vertebrae or pieces in place.
A skull fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in the skull caused by a head injury. Isolated skull fractures are not very serious injuries, but usually the presence of a skull fracture indicates that significant enough impact occurred to cause brain trauma, which is quite serious.
Skull fractures can cause significant harm: Broken fragments of skull can cut or bruise the brain or injure blood vessels. If the fracture occurs over a major blood vessel, considerable bleeding can occur within the skull, so head injury patients with skull fracture have many more intracranial hematomas (especially epidural hematomas) than those without fractures). An additional obstacle of skull fractures is dissection of cerebral arteries, which can limit blood flow to the brain. A fracture in which the skin is also broken is called an open fracture or compound fracture. Penetrating head injuries are those that cause a fracture in the skull and breach the dura mater, the outermost membrane of the brain's meninges.
Fractures of the skull can be comminuted, depressed, linear or diastatic.
- Comminuted fractures occur when a bone is shattered into many pieces and can result in bits of bone being driven into the brain.
- Depressed fractures occur when there is a break in a cranial bone (or "crushed" portion of skull) with depression of the bone in toward the brain.
- Linear fractures are usually caused by widely distributed forces and occur when the impact causes the area of the skull that was struck to bend inward, making the area around it buckle outward.
- Diastic fractures occur when the injury causes the gap between individual bone pieces to widen.
Symptoms of possible skull fractures include:
- Bleeding from wound, ears, nose, or around eyes
- Drainage of clear or bloody fluid from ears or nose
- Loss of consciousness
- Restlessness, irritability
- Slurred speech
- Difficulties with balance
- Visual disturbances
- Bruising behind the ears or under the eyes
- Changes in pupils (sizes unequal, not reactive to light)
- Stiff neck
Any injury that results in broken bones demands serious medical attention. Often accidents that cause physical harm can affect not only the bones but also the adjacent tissue, veins, and organs. If you or a loved one has experienced a fractured skull (or any other fracture) due to an injury or accident, contact a California skull fracture lawyer at The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen immediately at (800) 718-4658.
One of the chief functions of the human rib cage is to protect internal organs from damage. In serious accidents the ribs may become fractured, which creates extreme pain on the injured. Simple activities, such as sitting down and bending over, can be excruciatingly painful. Therefore, a rib fracture has the ability to limit your range of motion throughout the course of recovery. After sustaining a fractured rib the breathing process becomes very painful and this pain may continue for months.
In severe cases, fractured ribs may puncture the victim's lungs. This is a very dangerous situation and if not treated properly can make the victim susceptible to lung infections. You should visit your doctor right away if you think that you have broken your ribs; or if you already have fractured ribs and experience unnecessary pain or breathing problems, or think that you may have a lung infection.
If you or a loved one has suffered from fractured ribs as the result of another's careless actions, please contact The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen, LLC at (800) 718-4658 immediately. Our law firm has been successfully representing seriously injured clients, including those suffering from broken bones for years. We will use our knowledge of California personal injury law to attempt to recover for you the maximum monetary compensation possible for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation with an accomplished and dedicated rib fracture attorney.