Spinal injury: more men enter the danger zone

SPINAL injuries are more common in men than women with an active lifestyle or risky behaviour the number one cause.

Royal North Shore Hospital corporate communications manager Pat McDermott said more men than women become spinal patients because young men tend to be more active, play more sport and drive faster.

Despite John Crasti’s injury from a bull riding accident on October 27, sport related spinal injuries rank as third most prevalent.

“Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal injuries followed by water related activities,” Ms McDermott said.

Ms McDermott said diving or jumping into shallow water led to the second most common type of spinal injury.

“Changing water levels - what may be really deep last week may not be deep this week,” she said.

No matter how the injury occurred, it can be a long recovery for victims, with some having no recovery at all Ms McDermott said.

The ability to recover or have movement depends on where the spinal injury occurred and how serious it was.

“The higher up in the spine the more incapacitated they may be ... lower down you may have use of your arms,” she said.

“It’s certainly a really devastating injury for people.”

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