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Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Discusses Minor Accidents and Spinal Cord Injury

Guy DiMartino Oct. 31, 2014

Northwest Indiana Chiropractor-Lawyer explains minor accidents and the reasons why spinal cord injuries can happen from these incidents.

Injury or trauma to the spinal cord can be caused by a variety of injuries to the spine. These injuries can come from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trip and falls, slip and falls, truck accidents or medical malpractice.

A seemingly minor injury when looking from the outside can cause a spinal cord injury because the injured person has an underlying medical condition that might make the spine weak or more susceptible to injury. Below is a list of some underlying medical conditions that can put a person at risk for a spinal cord injury from a seemingly minor accident.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes an inflammatory arthritis and possible deformity in a number of areas in a person's body. One of the areas that can be affected is the upper spine or neck area. For some reason, rheumatoid likes to attack the transverse ligament of the atlas (a ligament that helps hold the 1st and 2nd vertebrae of a person's neck in check). If this ligament is weakened because of rheumatoid arthritis, a simple whiplash or fall can injure the spinal cord because the vertebrae are not held in place by the ligament and move too much.

A Small Spinal Canal

The spinal canal is the bony canal that houses the spinal cord. If a person has a small spinal canal also known as a stenotic canal that person's spinal cord is more at risk for injury in a seeming minor accident. Why is that? Because the spinal cord does not have as much room to move around so if the neck is forcefully whipped back and forth the cord can hit the actual vertebrae – causing injury. Spinal stenosis can happen for a number of reasons including:

  • You were born that way – called congenital spinal stenosis

  • Underlying arthritic changes – arthritis can cause calcium deposits that can decrease the size of the canal

  • Underlying metabolic conditions: there a number of metabolic conditions that mess up a person's calcium metabolism that can cause increased bone size and a small canal. One such condition is Paget's disease.

There are many other medical conditions that can predispose people to spinal cord injuries from seeming minor accidents and these medical conditions will be discussed in future posts.

When people who have these underlying conditions are injured in accidents, the case becomes more complicated because the insurance company has a built in defense (the underlying condition) – this is why an attorney who also has a thorough understanding of medical conditions as well as the law – may be the best advocate for the client under these circumstances.

If you have any questions about a spinal cord injury in Northwest Indiana – contact our Michigan City car accident lawyer or fill out the internet consultation form on the right.