Only 2 to 5 percent of all spinal injuries occur among children. Even so, such injuries in kids, adolescents, and teens often present unique challenges, especially if they need spine surgery. Younger patients aren’t always able to clearly verbalize their symptoms, and healing can also be complicated by the stage of growth a child is at when the injury occurs. Vehicle accidents, hard falls, and sports-related impacts are often the cause of these 5 common spinal injuries in children.
1. Anterior Cord Syndrome
Affecting the front part of the spine, anterior cord syndrome causes a disruption to the artery that primarily supplies blood to this part of the backbone. Children with this type of spinal injury may still feel some sensation, although complex or detailed movement is lost.
2. Central Cord Syndrome
Paralysis or weakness of the arms is among the symptoms often associated with central cord syndrome in children. Usually associated with neck injuries, the condition stems from some type of injury to nerve cells or a disruption to nerve pathways.
3. Brown-Séquard Syndrome
Affecting half of the spinal cord, Brown-Séquard syndrome is an incomplete spinal injury that often results in upper motor issues. Children lose sensation on the opposite side of the body due to the way nerves send signals.
4. Spinal Concussions
Usually only lasting for a day or two, a spinal concussion is a mild injury to the backbone or its supporting tissues. It’s often associated with a sudden trauma, although there is no damage to vertebrae or nerves.
5. Cauda Equina Syndrome
Loss of reflexes and issues with bowel and bladder functions are symptoms often associated with cauda equina syndrome. Characterized by swelling and pressure on nerves in the lower portion of the spinal cord, this condition is rare but serious and requires immediate medical attention.
Spinal injuries in children are different from the same injuries in adults. Symptoms that can range from numbness and tingling sensations to loss of biological functions and paralysis vary by age and the specific location of the injury. Taking precautions while playing sports, staying fit, eating a balanced diet, and wearing properly adjusted seat belts can minimize the risk of sustaining spinal injuries.
For both children and adults, you can rely on the professional spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center to help treat injuries and serious conditions affecting the spine. Whether it’s a cervical artificial disc replacement or a kyphoplasty procedure, Beverly Hills surgeons you can trust are just a phone call away at 310-828-7757.