Spinal cord injuries require diagnosis by trained medical professionals. Slips and falls, motor vehicle collisions, assaults and other such accidents sometimes cause severe damage to the spine.
Health care providers will perform an examination and tests to determine if the trauma caused rises to the level of an SCI, as well as the severity and neurological level of the injury.
According to MayoClinic.org, to diagnose spinal cord injuries, doctors often use radiological exams, including x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. An x-ray may show problems with the bones of the spine, including fractures, tumors and degenerative changes. Computerized tomography, or CT scans, form a series of images that gives health care providers a clearer view of bone and disc problems and other abnormalities. MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging produce images that show issues such as blood clots and herniated discs.
According to the National Institutes of Health, medical professionals also use neurological testing in diagnosing spinal cord injuries. To this end, they may employ techniques used to test a patient’s ability to sense varying levels of touch, including pinprick sensations and soft touches. They will also assess patients’ muscle strength to aid in determining the overall severity of the injury.
Suffering spinal cord injuries may have life-changing effects on those injured, as well as on their families and loved ones. If their spinal trauma results due to an auto wreck or other such accident, those with spinal cord injuries may consider seeking compensation for their injury-associated losses, which may include the costs of medical care and damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering.