In addition to providing form and support, the spinal column protects nerves that send signals between the body and brain. This bundle of nerves, or spinal cord, is vulnerable to injuries that can be complete, or incomplete. A blow to the spine may cause an injury such as a fracture or a dislocation of vertebrae, creating pressure on these nerves. A complete injury stops signals from being sent, resulting in paralysis below the injury. An incomplete injury may allow some movement or sensation.
A spinal injury can be a serious life-threatening problem that requires complex surgery, or it may result in transient pain that can be treated with a brace or collar. Even complex problems can sometimes be treated with minimally invasive surgical techniques. Dr. Johnson’s experience in all types of spinal fractures began over thirty years ago at UCLA and later at Cedars Sinai where he was Director of the Spine Trauma Program. Dr. Johnson has trained many surgeons throughout the country who now treat spinal fractures on a regular basis.