When your back is injured, it can affect your entire life. Not only will it be difficult to do tasks such as carrying groceries, picking up children, or cleaning the house, but even basic and simple tasks such as brushing your teeth, getting up, or even just laying down comfortably will be significantly more difficult. Unfortunately, back injuries are very common in any type of car wreck. One of the most common types of injuries is a herniated disc which may require surgical intervention to repair. If your back is injured in a Colorado car wreck, call our Colorado Springs car accident lawyer to learn what rights you may have to compensation for medical bills, surgical costs, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
What is a Herniated Disc?
The spine in your back is comprised of vertebrae which forms a column originating at the base of your skull to your pelvis. The vertebrae are small bones stacked on top of each other. They help give the body structure and support, but also house the spinal cord and protect it. In between each vertebrae is a small, spongy disc. This disc acts as a shock absorber between each vertebrae. These are very important because the keep the vertebrae from rubbing against each other or coming out of place and damaging nerves, vessels, or the spinal cord itself.
While the discs are spongy and durable, they are not invincible. The force of impact from a powerful car wreck can cause these discs to become damaged, ruptured, or slipped out of place. When this occurs, it can result in a herniated disc.
A herniated disc may impinge on nerves that originate from the spinal cord in the center of the vertebrae. This may cause rather significant pain which is difficult to treat, including sciatica, which is nerve pain down one’s leg or legs. Generalized back pain and weakness are also common, as well as sensations of pins and needles, numbness, and decreased sensation.
Treatment for a Herniated Disc Caused by a Car Wreck
Sometimes a herniated disc does not require any treatment other than over-the-counter medication, ice, and rest. Other less-invasive options may be available, such as chiropractic manipulation, electric stimulation, physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture, all of which may relieve symptoms and aid in healing. However, many times surgical intervention is required to repair a damaged disc, particularly a severely herniated disc or herniated discs on multiple levels after a car accident. Some common surgical options include the following:
One of the most common types of surgical procedures following a car wreck to repair a herniated disc is a discectomy. In this type of surgery, the surgeon removes a portion of the disc and replaces it with an artificial spacer or bone graft. A discectomy can be effective at re-constructing the area and controlling leg pain caused by sciatica.
Laminotomy and Laminectomy
This procedure does not directly repair the herniated disc, but helps relieve pain and pressure on the nearby nerves extending from the spinal cord, through the spaces in the vertebrae, and out to the extremities. This procedure involves removing part of the bone and structure of the individual vertebra near the damaged or shifted disc.
A spinal fusion is often a last resort type of surgery. It is very invasive and the result is permanent. In a fusion, the damaged disc is removed and replaced with cement, grafts, or another substance. Screws are inserted in the vertebrae above and below the discs. Rods are then threaded through the screws which are tightened. This immobilizes this part of the spine and the vertebrae which are affixed together.
Victims of Colorado Springs Car Accidents Who Have Sustained a Herniated Disc and Need or Had Surgery Should Call the Springs Law Group
A herniated disc is a very debilitating and painful disability that a victim of a Colorado Springs car accident could sustain. It frequently requires surgery and the effects can last months if not years. If a negligent driver has caused a herniated disc in your back due to a car wreck, our law firm may be able to help you. Call our Colorado Springs car accident lawyer at Springs Law Group to ensure that your interests are properly represented. We will diligently fight for your rights to compensation. Schedule a FREE appointment by dialing (719) 299-5777 or use the convenient and easy to use “Get Help Now” submission box available here. We can help walk you through the process, together, and help you get on the road to recovery. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation.
Jacob Kimball is a Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from the Ohio State Moritz College of Law, and has been practicing law for 13 years now. Jacob Kimball firmly believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.