One of the most common injuries sustained by those involved in an accident is a back or neck injury. Many consider these “soft tissue” injuries and the term has been used by insurance companies to diminish the significance of the injury.
In fact, a disc injury which is really a connective tissue injury can be more debilitating and significant than a fracture to a bone. A fracture can often heal and or calcify. A disc injury to the spine will never return to the anatomic design it was in before the trauma.
Simply put a herniated disc is a rupture to the intervertebral discs that separate the vertebrae running from the base of our skull to our coccyx or sacrum. In all we have 33 discs and they act as shock absorbers for the body. They allow the spine to move, bend, function in a normal way.
When a trauma occurs, the disc which is a gelatinous like substance known as the nucleas fibrosis can move from the space within the veterbrae. Our spinal cord and the never seen that run through our body are positioned closely to the disc. If the disc exits and presses upon the nerve, that “bulging” disc can cause pain on the nerves as well as pain locally. Worse, it the trauma is significant enough that the disc not only moves but tears, the nucleus pulpusous or the jelly inside the “jelly donut” will push and press on the nerve roots as well.
It is important to properly document your complaints of pain to a physician. By middle age, most people have had some change of the disc anatomy and the edges of the veterbrae can create wedges and the disc can even get thinner. This is often what the defense will argue is the real cause of pain. Yet, a person can live an active life without pain and have those minor changes. Yet a trauma such as a car accident or construction accident or a fall on a defective condition can cause that disc to bulge or herniate and become serious and debilitating.
Leav & Steinberg, LLP are attorneys that understand the medicine and pathology behind back injuries and can make sure that the injuries are presented to a jury in a way that the client deserves; as a significant often debilitating injury