Lower back injuries are very common. There are so many ways that people can injure themselves: lifting items, wrecking a car, playing sports, or falling off of an object. Lumber spine injuries can be divided into two different categories. They are low energy and high energy. A low energy injury would be a car accident involving getting rear ended at less than 5 miles per hour. A high energy injury in a car accident would involve the passenger to be ejected from the vehicle. Other factors may make the injury worse if the patient as other health problems such as osteoporosis.
Types of Injuries
Back injuries can be divided into categories referring to the part of the back that is injured. Fractures are injuries that affect the bone. A herniation, on the other hand, is associated to disks. A Sprain is an injury to the ligament. The fourth type of injury is a strain which involved the muscles getting hurt. Each injury needs a different type of care and amount of time to heal.
Doctors are able to list what part of the lumbar spine is injured by naming it L1 through L5. The L stands for lumbar. A surgeon will then be able to grade how bad the injury is. If a bone is broke there are several different variations of severity. It can be as mild as a compression fracture or as bad as a burst fracture.
There nerves and spinal cord are an important part of the spine and the treatment may depend on their involvement. Lower back injuries will not hurt the spinal cord. The spinal cord is located in the upper part of the back and ends at the upper part of the lower back. If the lowest back is injured, the patient will have problems with their bowel and bladder. This part of the back is known as the conus medullaris.
Strains can be very painful, but they do not affect the nerves or spine stability. Since a strain injures a ligament braces may be used. Therapy is often used to help the patient regain strength in the injured area. A strain usually takes about six to 12 weeks to heal. Sprains are typically similar to strains and require physical therapy and stabilization. However if one of the major ligaments is hurt then it may be necessary to have surgery to keep the spine from slipping.
Dr. Fayaz and his neurosurgery team of professionals at The Brain & Spine Institute of North Houston care for their patients and help them to perform activities of daily living and return to work and peace of mind if an injury should arise.