Herniated Discs/Disc Protrusion from a Car Accident
Herniated discs are some of the most painful and common injuries that victims of rear-end car accidents can sustain. However, these are by no means the only types of accidents in which a driver or passenger can sustain a herniated disc, as many suffer from these types of spine problems after being involved in side-swipe crashes or rollover accidents. Regardless of the type of accident, treating herniated discs can be prohibitively expensive, and accident victims who are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence should not be stuck paying for medical bills on top of repairing their vehicle. If you were injured in an accident, you should consider speaking with a Houston car accident attorney who can help you collect compensation for your medical expenses.
What is a Herniated Disc?
The spine is made up of individual bones called vertebrae, each of which is cushioned by a disc made up of cartilage. These discs help absorb stresses in the spine, while also providing flexibility. Unfortunately, these discs can rupture or tear when two vertebrae become overly compressed, which often occurs when the spine twists unnaturally or sustains a forceful impact. After rupturing, the disc starts to protrude horizontally past its normal limits. Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, although many car accident victims suffer from slipped discs in their cervical spine, or neck.
How do You Know if You Have Suffered a Herniated Disc?
When a herniated disc begins to place too much pressure on the spinal cord or nearby nerves, a person may start to experience severe pain, as well as numbness or weakness in an arm or a leg, so anyone experiencing these symptoms should speak with a doctor immediately. Injured parties may also suffer from the following:
-Tingling in the limbs;
-Neck and shoulder pain;
-Lower back pain; and
-Lower body pain in the thigh, foot, or buttocks.
These kinds of symptoms can make it difficult, if not impossible to sustain employment or carry on normal daily activities.
How Will Doctors Help Me Recover From My Herniated Disc or Protrusion Injury?
After being involved in a car accident, it is critical for victims to visit a doctor who can properly diagnose them by taking the following steps:
- Conducting a physical exam to pinpoint the source of either upper or lower body pain;
- Asking the patient to bend, walk, twist, and stretch to determine which actions cause pain; and
- Checking the patient’s reflexes and ability to feel pinpricks or light touches in the extremities.
After an initial assessment, a doctor may prescribe pain medication and recommend less physical activity for a period of time. In some cases, these steps will lead to recovery within a few days. However, if the pain does not abate, the treating physician may order additional diagnostic tests, including x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. When a severe herniated disc or protrusion is diagnosed, more aggressive treatments may be necessary, such as physical therapy, prescription medications, muscle relaxants, cortisone injections, and surgery.
Why is it Important to Have a Car Accident Attorney?
If you have been injured in a car accident, hiring an attorney to represent you is one of the best ways to prevent insurance companies from trying to deny your injury. This is especially important for those who have suffered serious herniated discs and require expensive treatments like surgery. To learn more about how we can help, please contact Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. at 713-221-6800 today.