Lumbar injuries can occur during motor vehicle accidents, in rough contact sports, or after a fall. These accidents can cause injuries that range from mild cases of lumbar pain, to injuries that can cause paralysis of the rest of the body below the level of injury.
The discs that act as shock absorbers between the vertebral bodies of the lumbar can be damaged during an accident. When this happens, the material in the center of the disk can be pushed out from where it normally is, a process called disk herniation. A herniated disk can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves to the arms and legs. In situations when a disk ruptures very quickly, as in the case of an accident, then the nerve does not have any time to adjust to the increased pressure and it may stop working.
Fractures and Dislocations
Fractures and dislocations of the lumbar demand early and accurate diagnosis so that treatment can quickly be introduced in order to produce a painless, stable spine and prevent pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerves. When the lumbar is injured in very violent accidents, the bones in the spine can be broken or pulled forcefully out of normal alignment. Fractures and dislocations of the lumbar are very serious injuries because there is the potential for damage to the spinal cord if the patient is not taken care of very carefully.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Each year in the United Sates, there will be approximately 50,000 new spinal cord injuries caused by accidents. A spinal cord injury occurs when the cord itself is crushed, stretched, or torn by the accident. Unfortunately, this is still an injury that can not be reversed or cured by modern medicine. There is also a lot of research being done on how to care for someone immediately after they have had a spinal cord injury, and also what kind of rehabilitation is best for them.