Helping a Patient Understand their Spine Injury
Mention the words “ spine injury ” and most people’s thoughts will turn to the most drastic instances, like those that involve the spinal cord. They’ll remember cases like that of “Superman” Christopher Reeve, whose amazing and productive life was cut short by a fall from a favorite horse. He would never walk again and would struggle daily with the things we all take for granted, like breathing and eating, before dying prematurely.
Of course, these kinds of injuries occur every day but, more often, spine injuries are less severe, still physically limiting the sufferer but not life-changing in the same way as the injury Reeve suffered all those many years ago. Many lower back injuries, for example, will not involve the spinal cord.
Still, any time you tell a patient they have a spine injury, it’s likely to cause a good deal of fright and worry. And rightfully so! Even “less serious” injuries can be horrendously debilitating and the patient will require plenty of care for healing and to get back on track.
As a spine specialist you no doubt understand that there are dozens of ways in which an individual can injure their lower back. Sometimes injuries are work-related, caused by lifting heavy items, moving things or people, or simply bending or twisting the “wrong” way. They can also be caused by automobile accidents or even a fall, either inside or outside.
A spine injury can affect the bones, the disks, the muscles, or the ligaments. Some are “low energy”, like the injury suffered in a slow-moving automobile accident, while others are “high energy”, as in the injuries caused by a high-speed collision. All of these will demand different kinds of treatment, and healing will depend on the extent of the spine injury.
Any of these injuries, regardless of the severity, will need to be explained to your patient, and you can do that best through the use of a realistic spine model that clearly demonstrates all the parts of the spine, how they move, and how they might be compromised through injury. You can also show the patient what will need to be done to hopefully make them as good as new or to at least improve their current state of health.
The many lumbar and cervical spine models offered by Dynamic Disc Designs (ddd) make it easy to demonstrate even the most serious spine injury. Fractures, herniations, strains, sprains…they can all be explained with the use of models like the Professional LxH, one of ddd’s top-selling 3D, totally dynamic models.
Whether you’re a spine surgeon dealing with a more serious issue that demands surgical intervention or a chiropractor who will be solving the problem in a less-invasive manner, you can use ddd’s models to create that “aha” moment for your patients.
Fear results from the lack of knowledge. That means if you take the time to impart knowledge to your patients, their worries will lessen and their trust in you will rise. A good doctor-patient relationship always makes your job easier and, in turn, when the mystery is gone, the patient relaxes and tends to heal more quickly. It’s a win-win situation for both of you.
“The Dynamic Disc model enhances patient education and has been invaluable at explaining what happens with disk pathology. I have been using these models for many years and have not seen a better product on the market.”
– Dr. Dave Linford
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