Some types of neck injuries from an auto accident may require neck fusion surgery which may involve a long rehabilitation period.
An auto accident can cause several types of serious injuries, which may require surgery to heal completely. When the neck suffers a serious impact in an auto accident, the discs or bones can get damaged or disjointed. In some cases, this type of neck injury may require neck fusion surgery to join the bones back together. Neck fusion surgery is successful in most cases but involves a long rehabilitation period and can be quite expensive.
What is Neck Fusion Surgery?
Neck fusion surgery, also known as spinal fusion, is a surgical procedure used to treat certain neck injuries or disorders. The goal of neck fusion surgery is to join two or more vertebrae in the neck together, creating a single, solid bone.
During neck fusion surgery, the surgeon will make an incision in the neck and remove any damaged or diseased tissue. They will then place bone graft material between the vertebrae that are being fused. This bone graft material may be taken from another part of the patient’s body, or it may be a synthetic material.
The surgeon will then use screws, rods, or plates to hold the vertebrae in place while the bone graft material fuses together. This process can take several months to complete.
Neck fusion surgery may be recommended for a variety of conditions, including:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Fractured vertebrae
- Spinal instability
When Is a Neck Fusion Surgery Necessary after a Car Accident?
In high-impact collisions, discs can become dislocated or dislodged, and the disc material can slip out of the disc. When the discs or bones get misaligned, they can put significant pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing pain and discomfort.
Usually, neck fusion follows some other surgical procedures, including:
- Laminectomy that involves the removal of the lamina
- Discectomy in which a part or all of a spinal disc is removed
These surgical techniques are used to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord, and after these surgeries, the joints can be fused using a bone graft. The graft is usually taken from a bone in the pelvis. Surgical hardware such as screws and rods are also used to keep the bones in place to aid healing.
Rehabilitation After Neck Fusion
Patients who undergo neck fusion surgery have to go through long and expensive rehabilitation. The patient may need to spend 3-4 days in the hospital, but some people may have to spend a longer period of time depending on how they respond to the procedure.
Elderly people or those who have undergone an extensive surgical procedure may have to spend a few days in a rehabilitative unit of the hospital before they are allowed to go home. The patient may start seeing some signs of healing in about 6 weeks, but may still not be able to move properly. It may take 3-4 months to heal significantly, and the total healing process may last as long as a year.
It is important to follow the instructions of the doctor to heal completely and quickly. Adequate rest, proper diet, and the right medication can help one recover quickly.
In some cases, the patient who undergoes neck fusion may face complications such as rejection of bone graft, abnormal bleeding, blood clots and infection, injury to surrounding nerves, fusion failure, and extensive pain and suffering. These complications may require further treatment and even a second surgery.
How a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
A St. Louis car accident lawyer can help you get compensation for medical expenses in several ways, including gathering and presenting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, filing a lawsuit if necessary, and providing legal guidance throughout the process.
Hiring a car accident lawyer can be especially helpful if you are dealing with significant medical expenses following a car accident. They can provide valuable assistance and support as you work to get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and other damages.
Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!