Regardless of where you work or the job duties you perform, you have some risk of tripping, slipping or falling during your shift. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slip-and-fall injuries accounted for nearly 20% of all nonfatal work injuries in 2020.
Most slip-and-fall incidents are more embarrassing than life-changing, fortunately. Still, it is possible to suffer a catastrophic injury when you lose your footing and hit the ground or floor. Spinal myelopathy is one such injury.
What is spinal myelopathy?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, spinal myelopathy is an injury to the spinal cord that occurs when something, like a bone or ligament, compresses the cord. Trauma, such as a slip-and-fall accident, is a leading cause of the condition. As you might expect, because spinal myelopathy can interfere with nerve signals, it can potentially cause permanent paralysis.
What are the symptoms of spinal myelopathy?
If you have an extreme case of spinal myelopathy, you might struggle to move your arms or legs. Less severe instances of the condition are identifiable by some common symptoms, including the following:
- Pain in your back
- Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet
- Weakness in your arms or legs
- Extreme reflex responses
What should you do if you might have spinal myelopathy?
After a slip-and-fall accident at work, you should report the event and your potential injury to your employer. You also should seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor is likely to order an MRI to see whether you have compression somewhere along your spine.
Ultimately, while spinal myelopathy is likely to disrupt your ability to work, many effective treatment options are available.