A Deep Dive Into AOMSI

Jan 18, 2023 | Personal Injury

During a car accident, injuries to the head and neck are fairly commonplace. The jolting motion of a vehicle can force the neck backward or forwards, combined with either downward pressure or upward movement. This type of trauma causes an injury known as AOMSI.

Alteration of Motion Segment Integrity, or AOMSI, is an injury where the ligaments and supporting structures of the head, neck and spine are damaged. Because these ligaments support neck and head movement, people with AOMSI can suffer from severe neck and back pain, headaches and dizziness.

Today, AOMSI is one of the most severe trauma injuries recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) in auto accidents. However, the major challenge is that AOMSI is often overlooked and misdiagnosed by physicians – in fact, this happens about 65% of the time.

The best way to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment is to become educated about AOMSI, including common causes, symptoms and treatment options. With this knowledge, accident victims will receive the care they need quicker, and personal injury attorneys can fight for better case outcomes for their clients.

How Does AOMSI Happen?

AOMSI injuries can happen anytime there’s severe trauma and damage to spinal ligaments. One typical example is in car accidents or situations where someone experiences whiplash. These events result in ligament laxity and muscle atrophy that can permanently impact patients who aren’t treated properly.

What Are the Common Symptoms of AOMSI?

Symptoms of AOMSI injury include neck pain, back pain, headaches, dizziness, and pain in the mid-back, arm or leg. A medical evaluation should be your next step if you’ve experienced any of these symptoms following a motor vehicle collision.

What Are Treatment Options for AOMSI?

Because AOMSI is often misdiagnosed, it can be challenging to treat it properly. Many healthcare providers look to X-ray or MRI imaging as the first step in diagnosing injuries, but those are ineffective for AOMSI.

Flexion-extension x-rays have been shown to have a 30% false negative rate, and up to 30% of MRIs have minimal AOMSI findings. The reason this occurs is that each of these images is taken statically. When you rely solely on static images like X-rays and MRIs, you miss a majority of the most valuable information. The most effective course of action for diagnosis is Vertebral Motion Analysis (VMA).

VMA is one of the most accurate, specific, sensitive and reliable ways to evaluate the spine and spinal injuries because it examines how your spine is in motion.

What Is Vertebral Motion Analysis?

VMA is an FDA-cleared imaging method for assessing lumbar and cervical spine motion, capturing images beyond static X-ray and MRI options, including spine instability. VMA uses a machine to assist patients through flexion and extension movements, capturing video imaging of the spine during the process.

In the span of a 20-minute test, VMA can help evaluate injuries to the delicate ligaments that support your spine, help determine if you have suffered an injury missed by other tests, provide a detailed measurement of your spinal disc heights and provide a complete view of spinal alignment.

For healthcare providers, the benefits of this spinal test include the following:

  • Controlled and guided motion improves sensitivity and maintains specificity
  • 25% less radiation compared to a four-view flexion/extension X-ray series
  • Includes classic flexion/extension for comparison and calculation
  • Isolates individual vertebral levels to get both quantitative and visual information
  • Quantified report of spinal motion

For patients, the outcome of VMA imaging is an accurate and complete diagnosis, leading to better care.

How Important is Proper Diagnosis to a Personal Injury Case?

To receive the proper compensation for your personal injury case, it’s critical to have accurate diagnoses of all injuries – including AOMSI. If you’ve been in an accident and only receive an MRI or x-ray, then quite simply, you’re missing out.

Statistics show that more than 65% of accident victims will suffer from AOMSI but remain undiagnosed. Missing or misdiagnosing an AOMSI injury can have adverse consequences to the injured and the personal injury case and result in lower case valuations, which means the injured individual won’t receive the compensation they deserve.

According to a former superintendent of insurance at Allstate, insurance companies assign a case settlement reserve value of $66,000 for an AOMSI diagnosis. If you have spinal pain following an auto accident, you should be evaluated as soon as possible to set the path for your recovery. Contact our experts at Boost Medical Group to get started.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *