- 1 How Do Car Accidents Affect The Back?
- 2 Four Most Common Car Accident Injuries Requiring Back Surgery
- 3 Common Types of Back Surgeries After a Car Accident
- 4 How Does Back Surgery Affect an Injury Settlement?
Car accidents are something that no one wants to experience, but unfortunately, they do happen. When they do, the resulting injuries can range from minor to severe and, in some cases, may require back surgery to repair the damage.
In this blog, we’ll delve into four of the most common back injuries that can result from a car accident and may require surgical intervention.
Whether you’re a driver or passenger, knowing about these types of injuries and how they can impact your life can help you stay informed and prepared in case the unthinkable happens.
How Do Car Accidents Affect The Back?
Car accidents can cause a range of back injuries, from minor strains to severe fractures and spinal cord damage. The force of impact can cause the back to twist or bend in unnatural ways, leading to bulging or herniated discs, whiplash, and other painful conditions that may require medical intervention.
Signs and Symptoms of Back Injury After a Car Accident
When a person is involved in a car accident, the resulting back injury may not be immediately obvious. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a possible back injury that might require surgery is important.
The following are some of the most frequent indications that you have suffered from a traumatic back injury:
- Persistent pain or discomfort at the site of impact
- Limited range of motion in your spine or extremities
- Muscle spasms or tightness around the injured area
- Numbness or tingling sensation in legs, arms, feet, hands, etc.
- Loss of balance or coordination while walking/standing up
If any of these signs and symptoms persist more than 48 hours after an automobile accident, it is recommended that you visit a physical therapist or doctor right away. A professional healthcare provider can assess if there has been any damage to the spinal cord, which could potentially lead to long-term issues such as chronic pain and mobility limitations without timely treatment.
Four Most Common Car Accident Injuries Requiring Back Surgery
While car accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, back injuries are among the most common and can be some of the most painful and debilitating.
For some victims, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage and restore mobility and quality of life. Here are the four most common car accident injuries that may require surgery.
Whiplash is a common injury when the head and neck are suddenly jolted back and forth in a car accident. While many cases of whiplash can be treated with rest, medication, and physical therapy, more severe cases may require surgery to repair or replace damaged discs, vertebrae, or other structures in the neck.
#2 Bulging Disc
The space between each vertebra is filled with a soft, jelly-like substance called a disc, which acts as a shock absorber. During a car accident, especially in rear-end collisions, a strong impact on the back can cause one or more discs to bulge outward. This can result in symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and pain.
#3 Herniated Disc
It is commonly believed that “bulging disc” and “herniated disc” are interchangeable terms for the same condition, but this is inaccurate. A bulging disc refers to when a disc expands outward, while a herniated disc occurs when the inner layer of a disc protrudes through a tear in the outer layer, which can happen when a bulging disc ruptures and the fluid inside is squeezed out.
#3 Fractured Vertebrae
Fractured vertebrae can be caused by the sudden and intense forces involved in a car accident. When a car collides with another vehicle or object, the impact can generate a powerful force transmitted through the body. If this force is strong enough, it can cause the vertebrae to crack or break. This is especially true in cases where the body is thrown forward and then abruptly stopped, such as in a head-on collision or a rear-end collision.
Common Types of Back Surgeries After a Car Accident
Back injuries sustained in car accidents can be painful and may prevent you from working. The severity of the injury can vary, and recovery may involve wearing a back brace, attending physical therapy, or undergoing major back surgery.
Some common back surgeries may be required after a car accident:
- Spinal fusion – This surgery is used to treat herniated discs and spinal fractures. It involves joining two or more vertebrae together to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Vertebroplasty – A procedure used to repair spinal fractures caused by trauma. Bone cement is injected into the vertebra to stabilize the fracture.
- Kyphoplasty – A procedure that is performed before vertebroplasty in some cases. A balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebra and inflated to create space for the bone cement.
- Discectomy – A procedure used to remove a herniated disc causing severe pain and discomfort.
- Laminotomy – A procedure that involves removing a portion of the lamina (the bony covering of the spinal cord) to relieve the pressure that may have built up after an injury.
While these surgeries may sound daunting, they are designed to help alleviate pain and suffering. Some are even outpatient procedures, allowing patients to recover at home.
How Does Back Surgery Affect an Injury Settlement?
Back surgery can significantly impact the outcome of an injury settlement following a car accident. Typically, the cost of surgery and other medical expenses associated with the procedure will be factored into the settlement amount. In addition, the severity of the injury and the extent of the surgery required will also be taken into account.
If an injured party undergoes back surgery, it may increase the settlement amount they receive. This is because back surgery can be costly and may result in the need for ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.
Furthermore, if the injured party is unable to work due to the surgery and subsequent recovery period, lost wages and loss of earning capacity may also be factored into the settlement.
It is important to note, however, that the amount of the settlement will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Insurance companies may attempt to minimize the amount of compensation paid out, even if back surgery is required, so it is essential to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to negotiate a fair settlement.
Ultimately, the goal of any settlement is to compensate the injured party for their losses and ensure they receive the medical care and support they need to recover from their injuries.
Contact our team at Injury.io today and take the first step toward a stress-free recovery.
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