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Can injury on the neck bone due to whiplash injury lead to paralysis?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Nov 2013
Nov 2013
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Hi, I had whiplash due, to a rear-end accident dec the 4th. Had a sore neck since. But this past weekend had a buddy grab my neck(while sitting) in a very fast upward motion. Instantly my entire face and both hands went numb. And felt like an explosion ripped through my head. The numbness lasted only seconds(sun. Night) Mon. I went to chiropractor. (He took multiple X-rays. Said no fractures. But since have experienced slight numbness and tingling in right side of face and arms( also have swelling on right side of neck) What has terrified me is last night while singing(am a songwriter) a momentarily felt numbness go down feet. My toes have somewhat of a numb sensation also(but have experienced that in the past as well. Been to chiro. 3 times since. On a note: one of my great friends got parylized this summer,.. And I'm terrified if I bend the wrong way / etc. I could become parylized as well. Am I simply overly concerned. Or should I get checked out more extensively? (Chiro seems to think to jus give it time, but didn't tell him about last eve.) Thanks XXXX
Posted Fri, 31 Jan 2014 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 8 hours later
Brief Answer: Mild central cord syndrome. Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for posting your query. First of all, i would like to reassure you that there is no risk of you getting paralysed or developing more serious symptoms. The symptoms in your case are most likely due to a mild central cord syndrome, where there is an injury to the central part of spinal cord in the cervical (neck) region due to whiplash injury. As your chiro said, this improves over time (a few weeks). However, if you are concerned, an MRI of the cervical spine may be done to confirm the diagnosis. I hope my answer helps. Please get back if you have any follow up queries or if you require any additional information. Wishing you good health, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India Click on this link to ask me a DIRECT QUERY: http://bit.ly/Dr-Sudhir-kumar
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Follow-up: Can injury on the neck bone due to whiplash injury lead to paralysis? 15 hours later
Yikes, ok well, decided to go to the ER. Was in a lot of pain they did a CT scan. And diagnosed me with cervical radiculopathy. You think it's still central cord syndrome? Or would've CT scan ruled that out?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 24 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thank you for getting back. Detailed Answer: It is possible that you have cervical radiculopathy, as this would also present with similar symptoms. However, a CT scan is not the best imaging modality for this. Also, central cord syndrome can not be excluded by CT scan. If your symptoms persist, then, it may be better to go for MRI cervical spine, which would be helpful in diagnosing/excluding both cervical radiculopathy (due to slipped disc) as well as central cord syndrome. I hope it helps. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: Can injury on the neck bone due to whiplash injury lead to paralysis? 6 minutes later
Ok well if it is(central chord shock) my symptoms shouldn't get worse..correct? Also they prescribed, flexeril Prednisone/rob axon/diclofenac sodium/Vicodin. Are these simply for pain? Or are they necessary for recovery? Also gave me a neck collar. Which they told me I can wear for comfort. But chiro. Advised me against. What do you recommend? Thanks again.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 4 minutes later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: Yes, if it is central cord syndrome, it would not get worse, and would improve over time. The medications are for pain relief and are not compulsory for recovery. Looking at your young age, I would also advise you against wearing a cervical collar. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: Can injury on the neck bone due to whiplash injury lead to paralysis? 0 minute later
Thanks again. You've been a lot of help. Are there warning symptons I should watch out for? Also things I should/should not do.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 3 minutes later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: Nothing in particular, as i expect you to get better over time. However, if you have severe pain or tingling in the arms, or if you develop weakness in arms, you should report to the doctor. You should avoid sudden neck movements, and long drives. During long drives, it may be good to wear the neck collar, especially if you are likely to fall asleep (to prevent sudden neck movements, when the driver applies brakes). Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: Can injury on the neck bone due to whiplash injury lead to paralysis? 13 minutes later
I'll try to make this my last question, do you think I got close to full parylisis? Or are the symptoms I'm experiencing quite normal and common for neck injuries. (It seems everything I google on SCI. Looks extremely dangerous) Also should I ignore any slight leg numbness if I have that again? I tend to be overly concerned possible. Thanks again. XXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 12 minutes later
Brief Answer: My reply is below. Detailed Answer: I do not think you went close to full paralysis. That generally happens in much severe and direct injuries to the spinal cord. Alos, I do not see you getting paralysed in future too, as the effects of spinal cord injury are not delayed (the maximum damage would be seen in the first few hours or days after the injury). So, there is no need to worry. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
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Follow-up: Can injury on the neck bone due to whiplash injury lead to paralysis? 2 minutes later
Thankyou. I will give you a 5 star rating. And will try to contact you for further questions, if symptons persist. Regards XXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 13 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thank you. Detailed Answer: I would be pleased to be of help in the future too. Best wishes, Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM
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Follow-up: Can injury on the neck bone due to whiplash injury lead to paralysis? 2 minutes later
God bless you as you serve.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 16 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thanks. Detailed Answer: Thanks and take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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