By Joe Messa
The 2012 Olympic Games have entertained and inspired millions of people for the past two weeks. With viewers from all over the world cheering on athletes representing their countries, we have seen some amazing performances in 26 different sports. Many of the athletes competing are at the top of their field physically. Remarkably, however, there are those who have battled back from devastating injuries that could have ended their careers.
Track and field star Lolo Jones has been plagued with multiple injuries over the last two year, including two hamstring injuries. In addition, last August, Jones had spinal cord surgery to repair a tethered spinal cord. Although Jones did fall short of receiving a medal, she proved herself a champion turning in her best performance all year and finishing fourth in the 110-meter hurdles on Tuesday.
There’s also Christina Van Driel, who was left paralyzed and unable to walk after a cycling accident in Wisconsin twelve years ago. She was hit at 50 mph by a speeding driver who was changing a CD while driving behind her. Van Driel suffered multiple injuries including head trauma and a broken back. She also suffered a spinal cord injury that required three surgeries to repair a chronic non-healed fracture in the back of her spine. Surgeons had to insert screws, rods and plates to hold her spine together. After a long recovery process, Van Driel is not only walking again, but ran her first half marathon only five months after her first surgery. Van Driel recently ran 26.2 miles in Boston and is now aiming to compete in the 2016 Olympic trials in marathon.
Spinal cord injuries are devastating injuries that occur as a result of either traumatic or non-traumatic injuries. It is estimated that about 15,000 people each year suffer from some type of spinal cord injury. In cases where the spinal cord injury is due to trauma, immediate attention of a medical professional is required to prevent further injury. Almost half of all spinal cord injuries are due to traumas such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or physical violence. Non-traumatic causes of spinal cord injury may occur over time and include arthritis, cancer, infection, blood vessels problems, bleeding, and inflammation.
In either case, medical treatment is necessary and medication and surgery may be required as well. Spinal cord injuries will always require some type of physical therapy. Recovery from a spinal cord injury depends on the nature and location of the injury, as well as the quality of care received. Therefore, failure to treat a spinal cord injury of any kind could result in further injury that may be life-threatening, with death and paralysis being outcomes that are, unfortunately, not uncommon.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving medical malpractice cases involving spinal cord injuries, including misdiagnosis or failure to treat spinal cord injuries. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts are dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of a failure to diagnose a spinal cord injury or any other type of negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More