Herniated and Bulging Disc Injuries
Herniated and Bulging Disc Injuries
Brockton Personal Injury And Car Accident Attorneys
There are 23 intervertebral discs that separate the vertebrae in cervical spine, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. These discs are like the shock absorbers of the spine and help the spine bend, twist and turn. Trauma from a car accident can cause a disc to herniate.
A herniated disc (also known as a ruptured disc or disc extrusion) occurs when the soft pads (discs) that separate vertebrae of the spinal cord tear, causing the material inside the disc to ooze out. Often times the oozing disc material leaks into the spinal canal where it comes in contact with a nerve. The pressure that the oozing material places on the nerve can create great pain or numbness and weakness in other areas of the body.
If a disc that is located between the vertebrae of the cervical spine—the neck—is herniated or ruptures then the pressure placed on the nerves in this area can create weakness, numbness, a sensation of pins and needles, or sharp shooting pain in the arms and hands. If a disc located between the vertebrae of the lumbar spine—the lower back—is herniated or ruptures then the pressure placed on the nerves in this area can create weakness, numbness, pin and needles, or sharp shooting pain in legs and feet.
Herniated discs can go undiagnosed. It is critical that your treating doctor perform a thorough medical exam after your accident. Your pain and symptoms might not indicate that you have a herniated disc. If you are taken to the emergency room from the scene of an accident the emergency room physician might order an X-ray, CT-Scan or MRI. MRI’s are best for diagnosing herniated discs. If the emergency room doctor informs you that you have suffered a herniated disc it is important that you follow his or her instructions. They will likely advise you to make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment — it is your primary care doctor that will get you on the path to recovery by outlining a suitable course of treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Herniated and Bulging Disc Injuries
Some of the signs and symptoms of serious herniated disc injury back injury include sharp, persistent radiating pain, numbness, pins and needles and decrease muscle strength (i.e. decrease grip). Usually these symptoms will only exist on one side of the body like you right arm or right leg. Neglecting to address a serious herniated disc injury could leave you with permanent nerve damage. Herniated discs can repair themselves with physical therapy and rest. However, several other courses of medical treatment are available depending on the circumstances of the particular injury, including:
- Cortisone Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Facet Joint Nerve Block Injections
- Nerve Burning Procedure
- Spinal Fusion
- Artificial disc replacement
- Total Disc Replacement
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