The Mayo Clinic likens the rubbery cushions or discs found between back vertebrae to jelly donuts, in that they encase a soft center in a tougher exterior. When the tougher exterior tears, some of the softer material may push out of the disc. These herniated discs are also sometimes called ruptured discs or slipped discs and may require spinal fusion surgery after a truck or car accident.
Severe Pain Possible
This protruding material may impinge on nerves. This may cause pain which often radiates down an arm or leg. In some instances, the pain is excruciating and debilitating. Nerve impingement may also cause numbness or weakness.
In car and truck crashes, the severity of the impact may suddenly herniate one or more discs in a victim’s back. When a medical diagnosis suggests a surgical solution, outcomes may vary. The repair of a herniated disc is sometimes accomplished with a single surgery.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
At the other extreme, crashes may injure discs to such a degree that they can’t be repaired. Sometimes, spinal fusion surgery for a herniated disc injury after a truck or car accident is the only solution. To complete a spinal fusion, a surgeon grafts bone to the two vertebrae surrounding the damaged disc. This operation permanently fuses the vertebrae so normal flexing between them is no longer possible.
The location of the fused vertebrae in the back is important. Some patients will not suffer a permanent limitation in back mobility while others will. Some victims with multiple herniated discs may require multiple spinal fusions.
When a person suffers one or more herniated discs due to the negligent conduct of another motorist, a personal injury lawsuit often seeks compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering and possible long-term impairment.
If you or a family member suffers a back injury in a crash, we make it possible for you to consult with a lawyer at no cost to you. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us.