A motor vehicle accident injury includes any bodily damage sustained during a car crash. Though car accident injuries vary, even minor fender benders can lead to injuries that cause damage and pain. Common motor vehicle accident injuries include:
- Head trauma
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Strains and sprains
- Bruises and lacerations
- Limb loss
- Soft tissue (muscle, fascia, ligaments, discs, nerves) injuries to the spine
- Hard tissue (bone) injuries to the spine
- Neuropathic and/or Membrane Stabilizers
- Muscle Relaxers
- Topicals (creams, patches)
Physical Therapy (PT) is a treatment method for injuries that combines physiology and exercise. Physical therapists can be found in hospitals, inpatient and outpatient clinics, private offices, and nursing homes. The goal of physical therapy is to restore mobility and function to people of all ages who have been impaired by disease, injury, or other medical conditions. Multiple treatment techniques are used to improve movement, reduce pain, restore functionality, and prevent disability. In essence, a physical therapist is a movement specialist, highly trained to understand and treat all of the body’s components involved in motion, like joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Injections are non-surgical procedures where a patient is injected with a combination of anesthetic and/or steroid directly into the spine at the suspected sources of pain. The anesthetic serves to ease pain, while the steroid helps with inflammation. Two kinds of injections that relieve pain and inflammation are Facet Joint Injections and Spinal Epidural Injections. Injections can serve as a diagnostic tool by allowing the physician to identify if the injected location is the source of discomfort. Injections may cause temporary or permanent effects, depending on the patient and their case.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF) is a surgery to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the neck. An incision is made in the throat to reach the front of the spine. The disc is removed and an implant with bone graft is inserted to fuse together the bones above and below the disc.
Metal or PEEK implants may be used to stabilize the vertebrae until new bone develops between them. To further provide biomechanical support and stiffness to the area of potential instability, a metal plate may be placed onto the bone, joining the adjacent vertebrae. The ultimate goal of surgery is to provide room for the nerves (decompression) and stabilize a potentially an unstable spine (fusion).