A herniated disc is a common spinal injury that can cause various symptoms and have a significant impact on an accident victim’s health and finances. If you suffered a herniated disc from a car accident, slip and fall, or other accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party.
Before you file an injury claim seeking a settlement for a herniated disc, understand the nature of your injury and what to expect during treatment and recovery. Let a neck and back injury lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates help you value your claim and pursue the compensation you deserve. Set up a consultation by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT.
What is a herniated disc?
Twenty-six individual bones known as vertebrae make up your spinal column. Gel-like discs rest between each vertebra and give your spine flexibility. These discs also help reduce friction and degeneration of the vertebrae by cushioning the space between the bones and preventing them from rubbing against each other.
When the intervertebral discs are compressed or stretched beyond normal limits, they can bulge and rupture. This ruptured or bulging disc – known as a herniated disc – can compress the spinal nerves, leading to pain, discomfort, and other symptoms in the back, neck, extremities, and more.
Causes of Herniated Discs
While many herniated discs are the result of the natural effects of aging, in young people, trauma is a common cause.
Improper lifting of heavy objects can put pressure on the discs, especially if you twist while you lift. A slip and fall that causes trauma to the back and neck can also place pressure on the discs, causing a herniation.
Driving can cause a herniated disc in two ways. First, professional drivers such as truckers or couriers can develop herniated discs as a result of sitting for long periods with the vibrations of the vehicle engine. Second, any vehicle occupant can suffer a herniated disc due to an abrupt impact in an accident.
Symptoms and Treatment of Herniated Discs
Neck and back pain is the most common symptom of a herniated disc. Other symptoms may include:
- Pain running down your lower back to your feet (sciatica)
- Numbness or tingling in your legs or feet
- Weakness in the legs or feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control (severe cases)
If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to a doctor for an examination and diagnosis. After the exam, the doctor may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. This scan shows the soft tissues of the body and can detect abnormalities in your intervertebral discs.
After diagnosis, your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan. Common conservative treatment might include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that epidural injections can be helpful to 42 to 56 percent of patients who do not benefit from the more conservative treatment listed above.
Severe cases may require surgery to remove the herniated disc and any fragments putting pressure on your spinal nerve.
Unfortunately, many patients are unable to work while recovering from a herniated disc. The injury can make any occupation more difficult, whether you sit, stand, or move through most of your day. Coupled with the medical costs of treatment, physical therapy, and medication, this creates significant financial burden for many people.
Get a Fair Settlement for a Herniated Disc from Your Accident
If you suffered a herniated disc in an accident caused by another party, you are entitled to seek damages by filing a lawsuit. Buttafuoco & Associates can help you not only compile evidence of fault, but will also work with you to identify and prove the value of your case. This requires examining short- and long-term damages, such as:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy costs
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- And more
Call 1-800-NOW-HURT to get started. We offer free consultations so you can ask questions and speak with an attorney about your case.