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Florida Personal Injury Attorney – Chiropractic Physician Explains Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Dec 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

Florida personal injury lawyer and chiropractic physician, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD discusses the signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries.

The spinal cord runs from the brain to the lower back.  It is made up of a bunch of nerve cells that join together into tracts.  One way to think of the spinal cord is to think of a major highway with a number of traffic lanes going up (bringing information to the brain) and going down (sending information from the brain to the rest of the body).  The spinal cord is protected by the spinal or vertebral column.

The vertebral column is made up of five regions: cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), lumbar (low back), sacral, and coccyx (tail bone).  The cervical spine includes 7 vertebrae.  The thoracic spine includes 12 vertebrae and the lumbar spine 5 vertebrae.  The spinal cord leaves the brain through a large hole at the base of the skull called the foramen magnum.  In between each vertebrae except between the first and second cervical vertebrae, a nerve leaves the spinal cord through a space called the IVF.  In the average person, the spinal cord ends somewhere around the first and second lumbar levels and that is called the filium terminale.  The spinal cord also has a some nerves running down to the lower lumbar and sacral regions of the spine and this is called the cauda equina, Latin for “horse's tail”.

How Common is Spinal Cord Compression?

Spinal cord compression is pretty common.  About 12,000 new cases of spinal cord compression are reported every year.  The spinal cord can become compressed because of trauma, herniated discs, tumors, changes in the spinal column, infection or medical treatment. The Symptoms of Spinal Cord Compression:

A person may have spinal cord compression if they experience the following:

  • Inability to move legs or arms (motor paralysis)
  • Loss of feeling (sensory losss)
  • Numbness, tingling, and pain
  • Loss of bladder control – urinary incontinence
  • Loss of bowel control – fecal incontinence

If these symptoms start immediately after an accident or a medical procedure, it may be a medical emergency and you should go the hospital or your doctor.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Spinal Cord Compression?

In order to diagnose spinal compression, your doctor will most likely do the following:

  • Take a complete history
  • Perform a thorough physical exam and neurological exam
  • Order diagnostic imaging such as x-rays, CT scans, or MRI
  • Order a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and/or electromyography (EMG)

If there moderate or severe spinal cord compression, it is called myelopathy.  These folks may show a pattern of muscle weakness, loss of sensation, reflex changes and pathological reflexes consistent with the region of the spinal cord that is injured.

What Causes of Spinal Cord Compression?

Acute Spinal cord compression can be caused by truck, car or motorcycle accidents. These accidents can break of vertebrae or injure a disc in between the vertebrae. If these acute injuries aren't diagnosed and treated timely and accurately these folks can experience severe life long consequences.  If a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant doesn't timely  diagnose the acute spinal cord injury, the patient may have a medical malpractice claim.

Spinal cord injuries are complex and can arise from a variety of situations.  When dealing with these injuries, It is best to hire a lawyer with the medical knowledge and experience regarding these matters. If you have any questions about a spinal cord injury, call Dr. Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD at (352) 267-9168 or fill out the internet consultation box to the right.  Bridging the law and medicine!

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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What distinguishes my firm from the many injury firms throughout the state is my background as a chiropractic physician treating injured patients for 17 years. This gives you the benefit of having someone fighting for you that understands the nature and extent of your injuries and your road to recovery.

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