Hyderabad: Neurologists have warned that travelling in vehicles over large potholes can lead to serious spine injuries.
Recently, a 10-year-old boy suffered a slip disc when the autorickshaw he was in went over a big pothole in Tolichowki. Such incidents could increase in monsoon as this is the time when the roads get further damaged and the number of potholes rise further.
Senior consultant spine surgeon from Kims Hospital Dr Suresh Cheekatla said while neck and back pains are very commonly caused by vehicles going over potholes, such incidents can also lead to more serious injuries. Doctors in KIMS Hospital receive about 3-4 such injuries every month.
“Sudden stopping of vehicles due to potholes may cause a whiplash injury to the spine. And when the passenger already suffers from spinal stenosis (pressure on spinal cord and nerves), it may result in paraplegia - the loss of sensation in both hands and lower limbs. Such injuries may require surgery and even then the patient may not completely recover and may become bedridden,” Dr Suresh said.
Dr Suresh said slip discs are very common in people aged between 20 and 40 who spend a lot of time commuting. He added that some passengers may also suffer spinal fractures, especially if they already have severe osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones). Elderly people in the age group of 55-70 years are more vulnerable to paraplegia and fractures.
Neurosurgeon at Nims Prof. M. Vijayasaradhi says people travelling in the back seats of buses are especially vulnerable and the sudden movements they experience makes the spine crumble.
“When brakes are applied suddenly, the bone may strike the spinal cord so there is a chance of spinal cord injury. We advise vulnerable people, especially those who have neck pain or cervical spondylosis, to wear a collar so that their neck is protected,” Dr Vijayasaradhi said....