Some of the most common injuries sustained by car accident victims are injuries of the back. The lower back is susceptible to injury in many types of auto accidents including rear-end collisions. Injuries to the lower back, otherwise known as the lumbar spine, can be extremely debilitating. Severe pain can interfere with daily activities, and if surgical procedures are required, they can require long periods of rehabilitation and high out-of-pocket expenses.
The spine is made up of vertebrae which are separated by cushion-like discs. If a disc becomes damaged, as frequently happens in a car accident, the disc itself can leak out and press on the spinal nerves. Or, if a disc is damaged and no longer properly separates the bony vertebrae, the vertebrae can crush nerve roots and cause extreme pain.
Injuries to the lumbar spine can cause problems in other parts of the body, as well. If a disc in the lumbar spine has been damaged, an injury victim may feel pain, numbness and tingling throughout the legs and feet. This is due to pressure on the nerves that run through the lower part of the body. If a car accident victim reports continued numbness and tingling throughout the legs and feet, a doctor may request an MRI to see exactly what kind of damage has occurred in the lumbar spine.
If an MRI reveals a torn or herniated disc, there are several options for treatment of the lower back injury. Physical therapy can be prescribed to strengthen the muscles, tendon and ligaments in the lower back area that can help remove the pressure a herniated disc places on the spinal nerves. If a disc has a large herniation, however, physical therapy alone will not solve the problem.
An orthopedic specialist can perform injections into the lumbar spine that help relieve some of the symptoms of the disc injury. Epidural steroid injections involve putting the patient under anesthesia and injecting a combination of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication into the space in the spine between the disc, vertebrae, and spinal nerves. Depending on the extent of the disc damage, a series of ESI’s may resolve the problem for an extended period of time, or only for a short time, or may not help at all. In cases where injections don’t help or only provide temporary relief, surgical intervention may be necessary.
The type of procedure necessary again depends on the extent of damage that the lumbar spine has undergone. The two most common types of lumbar spine surgery are decompression and lumbar fusion. Decompression surgery involves removing parts of bone or disc material that is pressing down on the nerve roots. This relieves pressure on the nerves and can relieve the symptoms of radiculopathy in the lower extremities. Spinal fusion involves using a metal plate or bone material to fuse two vertebrae together. This is frequently done in conjunction with a discectomy, or complete removal of a spinal disc.
Lower back injuries can cause a lot of high medical bills and lost wages. If you are undergoing medical treatment for a serious lower back injury resulting from a car accident, you should visit tywilsonlaw.com to read Ty’s many articles, watch his videos and to order his FREE BOOKS before talking to the insurance adjuster or even before hiring an attorney. You’ll be glad you did.
If you have questions for an injury lawyer in Georgia, give Ty a call at 1-866-937-5454.