Broken ribs and spinal injuries are two very different types of injuries, but they are two of the common elements of many kinds of personal injury cases. One of the major differences is that broken ribs are easier to assess and will typically manifest in consistent ways. Patients will know they have broken ribs because they will feel the localized pain associated with this injury. Spinal injuries can be much more abstract, however. Patients may not feel pain, although the underlying injury can lead to health conditions later on down the road.

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A major problem with accident cases involving spinal injuries concerns the process of differentiating traumatic injury from other types of gradual wear and tear on the body that can have similar symptoms, manifest in similar ways and exacerbate one another. Experienced injury lawyers know that there's always the challenge of identifying a cause-and-effect chain with respect to spinal health conditions and they look closely at whether a traumatic impact had a significant influence on such conditions.

The Difficulty With Diagnosing Cervical Pain From Degeneration and Injury provides some clues as to the difficulty of directly diagnosing and treating traumatic impact of the spine. The article first discusses how certain parts of the spine can be damaged and cause cervical pain after traumatic impact. It goes into detail about these injuries, but also provides this disclaimer: “A full review of cervical fractures is beyond the scope of this article.” The article also discusses another clue with respect to the relationship of traumatic impact of the spine and natural aging conditions, stating “It should be noted that trauma to cervical vertebrae occurs less often than cervical pain and other symptoms resulting from changes that occur with aging, such as the development of bone spurs in the neck and cervical osteoarthritis.” The article then goes on to describe bone spurs and symptoms.

Read more: Disk Degeneration and Accident Trauma


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