Ligament Damage After a Car Accident in Orange County
I am often asked how can I prove that bodily injury has occurred after a car accident. Soft tissues such as ligaments and discs do not actually show up on x-ray, but we can demonstrate dysfunction of these structures on x-ray.
Longitudinal Ligaments of the Spine
The anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments run up and down the front and back of the vertebral bodies (the large block-like parts of the spinal bones). The ligaments keep the spinal bones aligned. When damaged, the spine will straighten out or lose it's natural curve. See this previous post about loss of neck curve after a car accident for more info.
The longitudinal ligaments also keep the spinal bones aligned while bending. If one or both of these ligaments are damaged, which is common after a car accident, then they will not be able to keep the bones aligned when the spine is bent forward or backward.
Motion X-rays Are Needed to Properly Assess Ligament Damage in the Neck After a Car Accident
X-rays are taken while the patient is looking straight ahead and then while bending forward as far as possible (flexion), then backwards as far as possible (extension). The spinal bones are then marked and measurements are taken to see if any of the vertebrae are moving beyond what is normal.
The anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) is in the front of the bones and prevents the bones from sliding backwards too far when the neck is bent backwards. If the ligament is damaged and weakened, you will note one or more of the vertebrae slides backwards too far compared to the bone below.
The posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) attaches to the back of the bones and prevents excessive forward movement on flexion or forward bending. A damaged PLL will be noted by one or more spinal bones sliding forward past the bone below.
Ligament Damage After a Car Accident is Serious
Excessive motion forwards or backwards is known as an "Alteration of Motion Segment Integrity" or "AOMSI." Any excess translation is a serious and permanent injury that will eventually lead to premature osteoarthritis of the spine. If the AOMSI is large enough (>3.5 mm in the neck) it is rated for impairment purposes the same as an amputated limb, roughly 24% whole person.
Have You Had Proper X-rays After Your Car Accident? Has Your Doctor Looked for AOMSI? Does Your Doctor Know What AOMSI Is?
Sadly, many doctors have no idea what alterations of motion segment integrity are, let alone how to document them. Even doctors who claim to treat a lot of car accident cases, may not be specialized or sophisticated enough to routinely perform this analysis.
This is Why You Need a Car Accident Doctor Who is Specializes in Auto Accident Whiplash Injuries.
A true specialist will know this and much more to ensure that all of your injuries are properly documented and provide the type of treatment needed to address your unique injuries.
Dr Barry Marks Car Accident Chiropractor
1745 W Orangewood Ave #114
Orange, CA 92868
Dr Barry Marks, Chiropractor Orange CA specializing in car accident injury treatment and fast relief of headaches, neck and back pain since 1986. Former Associate Clinical Professor, Author and Lecturer to doctors and lawyers on whiplash, brain injury and MRI interpretation. Extensive post-doctorate specialty training in orthopedics, whiplash, brain injury, MRI, functional neurology.