A spinal injury is damage to the bones, ligaments, or nerves of the spinal column. This may include damage to the spinal cord, which is the nerve that extends from the base of the brain through the spinal canal to the lower back, or to the bones.
A spinal injury can make a person unable to move or control part of the body. The effects depend on the location and severity of the damage.
Signs of a spinal injury may include:
Spinal injury must be considered any time there has been an injury to the head, face, neck, or back. The injured person must be immobilized and moved correctly, with the head and neck supported and aligned, to avoid permanent paralysis.
Current as of: February 19, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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