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Detailing the frequency of spinal injury misdiagnoses

When you think of spinal injuries, the first thought that comes to your mind is likely a traumatic accident that results in paralysis. Many in Providence County may share the same assumption, which may be the reason why many come to us here at DeLuca and Weizenbaum LTD surprised to have suffered spinal injuries that gradually set in over time. Your hope may rest on the ability of your doctor to recognize the symptoms of such an injury and get you treated before you suffer any neurological impairments. Unfortunately, that may not always happen.

The telltale signs of a spinal injury may include:

  •          Back spasms
  •          Neck pain
  •          Coughing or difficulty breathing
  •          Numbness
  •          Loss of bladder or bowel control
  •          Limited mobility

These symptoms, however, can often serve as indicators of other conditions. Kidney infections, gall bladder inflammation, diverticulitis or even certain gynecological problems can also manifest themselves in these ways. Perhaps it is because of these mimicking conditions that the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery reports that in an observed sample of 569 patients, doctors misdiagnosed spinal injuries in 9.1 percent of cases. The obvious danger in failing to diagnosis a spinal cord injury is that the longer it goes untreated, the more likely you may be to experience paralysis or other forms of neurologic deterioration. Indeed, in the study cited above, half of the patients misdiagnosed later saw their conditions deteriorate in this manner.

If the aforementioned symptoms continue after your doctor has ruled out a spinal injury as their cause, you may want to consider getting a second opinion. You can find more information on avoiding misdiagnoses by continuing to browse through our site. 

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Providence Personal Injury Office

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Providence, RI 02903

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