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Herniated Discs and Car Accidents

A herniated disc is one of the most common injuries suffered in a car accident.

Spine and herniated disc.
Spine and herniated disc.

A herniated disc is a very serious injury. The average settlement amount for a herniated disc is second only to cases involving paralysis, amputation, and severe brain damage.

Affects of a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc directly affects the central nervous system which controls all our bodily functions, and hence is an extremely serious injury. A herniated disc generally occurs due to the whiplash effect of a car crash that causes axial loading on the discs or vertebrae. The discs may become deformed or pressed against the spinal cord or the nerve roots which exit from the spinal cord for the arms and legs. This deformation of the disc or pressure on the spinal cord may cause minor pain in the back and in severe cases it can even cause paralysis of the limbs or body.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

The common symptoms for a herniated disc are as follows:

  • Chronic back pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Shooting pain down the limbs
  • Improper bladder control

Treatment for a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc can be treated by physical therapy, epidural injections, or surgery depending on the severity of the injury and the patient’s condition thereafter. There is no single answer for the need of surgery in a case of a herniated disc, as the condition may vary from person to person.

If you have sustained a herniated disc after being involved in a car accident you may not require immediate surgery, however, you may have to undergo a surgery in the future if your condition changes for the worse. After a car accident, you should always seek advice from an orthopaedic specialist who can run an MRI to inspect the extent of damage to the disc and provide a proper course of treatment. The orthopaedic specialist will also be able to provide you with details of expenditure and requirements for a potential surgery if required.

If you are seeking treatment only from a chiropractor, the insurance company may only consider the medical expenses incidental and settle your case for less. You will be left without any money from your claim in case you have to undergo a surgery at a later date.

After being involved in a car accident and suffering from a herniated disc, you may need the advice from an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney. Contact The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. at (314) 361-4242.

Photo credit: Michael Dorausch via Flickr

Updated: May 8, 2018