Car Accidents Often Lead to Back Injuries
Just before the holidays, Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton was involved in a rollover car crash that left him with fractures in his lower back.
Newton, who was a member of the 2007 and 2008 Florida Gators football team, suffered two transverse process fractures in his lower back. According to news reports, Newton was traveling 35 mph when his pickup truck hit a car that had pulled out in front of him. The force from the impact allegedly caused Newton’s vehicle to go airborne and roll before landing, crushing the vehicle’s roof in the process.
Newton was taken by ambulance in fair condition to Carolinas Medical Center for testing and overnight observation.
Back Injuries And Fractures
The type of back injury sustained by Cam Newton—a transverse process fracture– is not uncommon in automobile accidents or other violent crashes. This type of fracture involves the vertebrae, or bones, of the spinal column.
Each vertebra has two protrusions, called transverse processes, which stick off the side of the vertebral body. Back muscles and ligaments then attach to these transverse processes, providing flexibility and strength for movement. (For example, one of the most important muscles that connects to the transverse processes of the back is the psoas muscle, which controls the forward bending motion of the upper body and thighs.)
A transverse process fracture occurs when one more of these vertebral protrusions becomes broken or cracked. These types of fractures often occur in the lower back. However, they also may occur in the neck region.
Like Cam Newton’s injury, transverse process fractures are typically caused by severe trauma to the back which can result from:
- car, motorcycle, or pedestrian versus another vehicle accidents;
- severe blow to the back or spine;
- severe or sudden twisting or bending; or
- gunshot wounds or other violence.
Because of the significant amount of force that is typically involved in causing a transverse process fracture, those who sustain these types of fractures also may suffer other car accident-related medical problems, such as:
- internal bleeding;
- injury to nearby organs, such as the lungs, kidneys, spleen, and/or liver;
- partial or total loss of bladder and/or bowel functioning;
- loss of sensation and/or strength in the hands/arms (if the break is in the neck region) or in the legs/feet (if the break is in the lower part of the spinal column); and
- spinal cord injury that leads to paralysis.
Transverse fractures often take 4 to 6 weeks or more to heal. Treatment for the injury often involves bed rest, as well as taking pain medications and anti-inflammatories. The car accident victim’s doctor also may prescribe a back brace (called TSLO) or an abdominal binder to provide support to the injury area and limit motion at the fracture site.
Tallahassee Lawyers Represent Car Crash Victims
Because of the extensive recovery period and medical costs that can be associated with a back injury caused by a car wreck, it is important to seek legal help if you have sustained a transverse processes or other spin related trauma in a Tallahassee car accident. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the experienced Tallahassee area personal injury lawyers at Fasig & Brooks are available to help you obtain the monetary compensation that you deserve for your medical and rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related costs. Don’t sit on your rights. Call us today at (850) 222-3232 or use our online contact form to arrange for your free consultation.