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Back/Spine Injury

Back/Spine Injury

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A serious back or spinal cord injury can turn your life, as well as that of your family, upside down. If you are unable to work, that weighs heavily on your finances, not to mention the medical bills that keep piling up. When you or a family member has suffered a back or spinal cord injury it can be a stressful time. At Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, we are experienced with helping those who have been seriously or catastrophically injured due to the negligence or intention of others. Back and spinal cord injuries can be life-changing and often chronic conditions.

Parrish Law Firm, PLLC will vigorously pursue compensation for your pain and suffering. Pain and Suffering is defined as the physical and/or emotional distress resulting from an injury. Though this concept is somewhat hard to understand, the injured person can seek monetary damages for these items. How much the defendant owes for pain and suffering is calculated separately from the amount owing for more direct expenses, such as medical bills or time lost from work. Parrish Law Firm, PLLC will always work to maximize all available types of compensation for the person injured.

Back Injury & Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

We can assist no matter how your back or spine was actually injured, whether it resulted from medical malpractice, a faulty product, an auto accident, or any other type of incident. We work hard for our clients against the insurance companies and we remain client focused in all that we do. We put your needs first and treat you like a person rather than a case.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a back or spinal cord injury, please contact us for a free initial consultation with a Manassas personal injury lawyer to discuss how we can obtain the compensation to which you are entitled; visit our blog for lots of recent news and tips about injury claims or get a copy of one of two consumer’s guides about accident cases and personal injury claims.

A common, yet very serious, injury many people suffer to their necks, backs and/or spines in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, tractor-trailer wrecks, falls, and other types of incidents is:

Herniated Disc

Herniated discs are very serious injuries, and may result from car accidents, falls or heavy lifting. The normal spine is S-shaped, when viewed from the side. The curvature actually helps absorb the repeated shock of walking, running and jumping. The spine is wonderfully flexible, but this diminishes with age. The discs of the spine are the shock absorbers, the flexible parts of the spine. They separate the bony segments of the spine, which are very rigid. When the spine is injured by abnormal forces, such as a car accident, sometimes the disc will move, in relation to the bones of the spine. This is a herniated disc. This shift alone might not matter so much, except that the disc often impinges on the nerves that exit from the spine, most often the ones affecting the legs, but sometimes the bowels, bladder or genitals. In automobile accidents, especially frontal collisions, the lower spine is suddenly flexed severely, which may cause protrusion of the disc backward. Back pain tends to be severe, but more worrisome is the possibility of nerve pressure or injury. This is typically manifested by numbness and tingling in the leg, commonly on the outside of the thigh, back of the calf and down into the foot, sometimes involving the big toe. Weakness in the ankle may occur, and the reflexes that the doctor elicits with his little rubber hammer, may diminish. Many patients complain of an electric shock sensation with or without tingling and numbness.

Diagnosing a Herniated Disc

Standard X-rays generally are not as effective as the newer Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which clearly demonstrates the relative position of the discs to the bony spine and the nerves. This study will usually clearly mark the site of the problem.

Herniated Disc Treatment Options

Generally, physicians will try the simple things first, to provide relief of herniated disc symptoms. Back rest is the most important. Anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers, and sometimes injection of special steroid medicines directly into the area of inflammation may be used. Physical therapy can strengthen the back muscles, which helps to stabilize the spine. If relief is not forthcoming, then surgery must be considered. Some patients may only need “bandaid” surgery, wherein a lighted scope is inserted through a small incision directly over the disc, and a portion of the disc is removed with tiny instruments. In those patients where there are bony changes associated with aging, a more aggressive open surgery is needed to remove sufficient parts of the disc to prevent recurrence. In some patients, the disc is removed completely, and means are used to stabilize the bones, called a fusion. A recent development is the artificial disc, which is a spongy, flexible piece of plastic. It is placed exactly where the real disc was removed. Since it also replaces the shock absorbing nature of a good disc, this innovation seems promising.

Herniated Disc Recovery and Potential Complications

On discharge from the hospital, the patient may be asked to wear some sort of back support or brace for several weeks, and to avoid any lifting whatever, until the back heals. In some patients, the herniated disc is removed, but the pain and tingling persists. In others, the initial surgery must be repeated, and a larger amount of the offending disc removed. A very serious medical consequence of a major herniation is called Cauda Equina, in which the disc affects the nerves of the bowel, urinary bladder and the genital organs. In these cases, surgery is a must, and must be done quickly, to avoid permanent damage to those organs. Any delay in diagnosis of nerve injuries risks long-term disability, since prolonged compression of a nerve will often cause irreparable damage.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a nonmedical term used to describe neck pain following an injury to the soft tissues of your neck (specifically ligaments, tendons, and muscles). It is caused by an abnormal motion or force applied to your neck that causes movement beyond the neck’s normal range of motion.

Whiplash happens in motor vehicle accidents, sporting activities, accidental falls, and assault. The term whiplash was first used in 1928, and despite its replacement by synonyms (such as acceleration flexion-extension neck injury and soft tissue cervical hyperextension injury), it continues to be used to describe this common soft tissue neck injury. More specific terms for this type of injury include cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension injury.

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