Every NJ Resident in a Car Accident Needs a Spine Surgeon Evaluation
Did you know that nearly 300,000 car accidents occur in New Jersey every year? The New Jersey State police, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that in 2013 there were 283,115 car accidents across the state. Of these, over 60,000 car accidents resulted in someone being injured.
Fortunately, most of these accidents result in only minor injuries. On the other hand, at least one person dies every day in NJ in a motor vehicle accident. For a substantial minority of those who have sustained a non-fatal NJ car accident, surgeon involvement will be required. In fact, anyone who has been in a moderate or high velocity collision should be evaluated by a spine specialist.
The effect of major motor vehicle accidents on the spine
Motor vehicle accidents account for almost half of all spine injuries.1 High velocity car accidents can have devastating consequences on the spine. In some cases, the spinal cord can be damaged, causing paralysis. Displacement or fracture of the spinal bones (vertebrae) can partially compress the spinal cord, causing focal weakness or numbness. Spinal cord contusions from a vertebral bone dislocation or fragment may injure the delicate blood vessels around the spine, leading to permanent disability.
The bottom line is that trauma to the spine caused from a car accident can cause paralysis or long-term disability if not managed effectively. If you have been in a major NJ car accident, surgeon evaluation is critical. Even if you have not noticed any immediate symptoms, you should still be evaluated by a spine specialist.
Even minor motor vehicle accidents can affect the spine
Symptoms from trauma during a car accident may not show up for hours or days after the accident. A concussion, for example, may take as many as 24 to 48 hours to cause symptoms. Whiplash is the same way. Even if you do not feel headache or neck pain immediately after a car accident, symptoms of whiplash may occur hours to days after the motor vehicle accident.2
Whiplash is caused by the rapid bending of the neck, often caused by rear end or front end collisions. Sadly, half of all people who get whiplash may have neck pain symptoms for at least one year after the accident.3
If you have symptoms of whiplash such as neck pain, muscle tightness, muscle spasm, headache that is especially bad in the back of the head, or any difficulty moving your neck or turning your head, you may have whiplash syndrome. It is important to have an evaluation by a spine specialist in New Jersey or a NJ car accident doctor (i.e., a physician who is experienced in evaluating car accident injuries). Find a surgeon who is experienced and local.
People in car accidents need a “car accident spine surgeon”
Spine surgery is not always needed after an accident, but until you are evaluated by a spine specialist, you cannot know for sure. Likewise, not every doctor has the experience and qualifications to proper diagnose and treat the injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents.
Dr. Rovner, a spine specialist at Progressive Spine & Orthopedics, has been called the “NJ Car Accident Surgeon” because he evaluates and treats a substantial number of New Jerseyans who have been injured in car accidents. While only a small number of these patients eventually need spine surgery, Dr. Rovner provides a comprehensive spine evaluation and can formulate a personalized, appropriate treatment plan. More importantly, he provides peace of mind.
- Spinal Cord Injury Information Network. Understanding Spinal Cord Injury: Part 1—The Body Before and After Injury. 2008; www.spinalcord.uab.edu
- Kasch H, Bach FW, Stengaard-Pedersen K, Jensen TS. Development in pain and neurologic complaints after whiplash: a 1-year prospective study. Neurology. Mar 11 2003;60(5):743-749.
- Carroll LJ, Holm LW, Hogg-Johnson S, et al. Course and prognostic factors for neck pain in whiplash-associated disorders (WAD): results of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). Feb 15 2008;33(4 Suppl):S83-92. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181643eb8