A cervical neck fracture is often a serious condition that can produce life-altering consequences. The neck is particularly vulnerable to breaking or fracturing. High-speed collisions or an accident with a severe impact can fracture or injure vertebrae in the neck. The fracture is a result of a break in the cervical vertebrae that affects its continuity. If specific cervical neck vertebrae are fractured, paralysis can occur, including paraplegia and quadriplegia.
Neck Fracture Causes
Serious neck injuries and fractures are often the result of a variety of severe impacts and accidents. The most common causes of a cervical neck fracture include:
- Slipping and falling
- Work-related Injury
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Collision with a commercial vehicle
- Whiplash injury
- Physical sports and activities
- Impacting blow to the head or neck
Common Symptoms Of An Injury To The Cervical Spine
Individual suffering through the beginning stages of an undiagnosed neck fracture often experience a variety of basic symptoms. Many of these include:
- Severe pain (especially with movement)
- Tenderness and swelling
- Muscle spasm
- Stiff neck
- Puffiness and redness
- Lack of mobility
Without diagnosis and proper treatment, a fracture to vertebrae in the neck can cause severe symptoms and even paralysis (see here). Many of these include weakness and numbness in the arms and legs, uncontrollable defecating and urinating, and the inability to walk or stay balanced.
Diagnosing A Neck Fracture
Many individuals assume that a neck fracture is an easy medical problem to diagnose. However, a fracture is not always clearly apparent when studying an x-ray. Individuals that suffer neck fractures usually experience severe mobility and pain issues, and only then seek medical attention for help. Even when the patient presents some of the common symptoms, doctors often inaccurately diagnose a neck fracture causing significant complications including exacerbating the problem. A misdiagnosis can be the result of inadequate training or experience. Because doctors rely on imaging equipment including x-ray machines, improperly taken images can lead to inaccurate results.
Unfortunately, doctors often misread an x-ray searching for an injury, or improperly diagnose a minor or severe neck fracture through inexperience or through an improperly taken x-ray. Other times, doctors fail to order diagnostic testing altogether, including x-rays, because they mistook the cervical neck fracture for a less serious injury.
In addition to identifying fractures, radiographs (x-rays) can also be used to detect ligamentous injuries and other conditions. Any failure to diagnose a cervical fracture and other conditions can make the doctor and/or the radiologist liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Pursuing a Claim Related To Complications Related To A Missed Cervical Fracture At A Medical Facility
Any individual that has suffered a neck injury, through a misdiagnosis often deal with considerable ongoing pain and long-lasting suffering. The doctor’s failure to diagnose a cervical fracture and another serious injury can often lead to permanent mobility issues, a re-fracture of the vertebrae or a bone that heals incompletely/imperfectly. Because of that, it is often necessary to pursue a medical malpractice claim for financial compensation.
A skilled medical malpractice lawyer handles cases involving cervical neck fractures to seek financial recompense from responsible parties. This often includes the doctors, nurses, radiologist, lab technicians and other healthcare providers, along with the hospital/medical facility. The amount of compensation is usually adequate to pay for:
- Ongoing medical bills
- Prolonged treatments
- Lost income – past, current & future
- Mobility problems
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Pain management
- Home care
A missed or delayed diagnosis could be attributed to the lack of considering a cervical spine injury or the result of inadequate x-rays or incorrectly interpreting the radiology.
Legal Options Available To People When A Doctor Fails To Identify A Fracture In The Neck
If a doctor failed to diagnose a spinal cord injury, cervical neck fracture, disc herniation or other serious condition, they can be held financially liable for their neglect. Injured patients can file a medical malpractice case to obtain financial recompense. The funds can pay down medical bills, recoup lost wages and cover the cost of rehabilitation and physical therapies while providing compensation for pain and suffering.
Call (888) 424-5757 to speak to the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC. The law firm handles personal injury cases including medical malpractice claims. Through a free initial consultation, the attorneys can evaluate the case, and provide a variety of legal options to obtain the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, pain, and suffering. The lawyers will serve as your legal representative and file a claim or lawsuit to hold all responsible medical staff and facilities accountable for their neglect.