Spinal injuries affect nearly 8,000 new people each year in the United States. Though the average age for spinal cord injuries (SCIs) is 42, they can affect anyone and have a dramatic impact on quality of life. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, these are the top 5 accident-related causes of SCIs, which statistically affect men more than women.
1. Auto/Vehicle Accidents
Vehicle accidents often place incredible pressure on the spine or cause it to bend or twist in a way that damages nerves, discs, and joints. Though car accidents are the most common cause of SCIs, severe back injuries can also result from accidents involving:
- Motorcycles and bicycles
- All-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles
- Boats and work-related vehicles such as forklifts
Slipping, tripping, and tumbling are the most common types of falls that can result in a spinal injury. Falls from unstable ladders or down steps can also affect the spine. For seniors, seemingly minor falls from a bed or in the shower can also seriously injure a spine that may already be weakened.
Gunshot wounds are the most common cause of SCIs related to violence, followed by injuries from altercations with a blunt object or knife. Any penetrating wound that extends to the spine can have a similar impact.
4. Sports/Recreational Injuries
Diving is the leading cause of sports and recreation-related spinal injuries due to the combination of height and the force of the impact. SCIs can also result from:
- Surfing and skiing
- Horseback riding
- Football, wrestling, and gymnastics
5. Medical/Surgical Issues
The spinal cord can also be unintentionally injured during back or neck surgery or as a result of an existing medical condition. Injuries sometimes occur while attempting to correct another issue with the spine.
About 300,000 people are currently living with SCIs in the United States. Costs related to SCIs can range from $200,000 during the first year of care to more than a million dollars for lifetime care, depending on the severity of the injury, the need for traditional spinal fusion surgery, and response to rehabilitation efforts.
If you have experienced an accident that has caused an injury to your spine, The Spine Institute Center can help. Dr. Bae and his expert team of surgeons specialize in spinal fusion and alternatives like the cervical disc replacement surgery Beverly Hills patients sometimes need. Call 310-828-7757 to learn more and schedule an in-person consultation.