Do You Have A Herniated Disc Caused by a Wreck?

Have you been in a motorcycle, truck or car wreck and told by your doctor that you have a “herniated” disc, or a “bulging” disc? What is this and how did this come from the wreck? A herniated disc occurs when the disc material in the spine, the tough doughnut shaped cartilage material, moves out of the normal place it should be in the spine. When this happens and the disc bulges, it can press on the nerves in the back and can cause excruciating back pain and pain in other parts of the body, including the buttocks, hips, groin, legs and feet. The pattern of pain is determined by which nerves are being pressed on in the spine by the bulging disc and at what level. For example, you might have a herniated(bulging) disc at L4-5, and this would mean that the disc between lumbar spinal bones L4 and L5 has moved out of its normal place. You might have pain down your right or left leg, depending on which side the disc is bulging.
Most patients are first sent to physical therapy to help with the pain. Sometimes, the disc can go back into place or move into a position that does not cause pain in the back or down the legs. Sometimes, it can take up to 9 months or longer for the pain to improve. For others, the pain is excruciating and surgery is elected as the treatment option. Prior to having surgery your doctor may recommend that you have a series of steroid injections into your spine into the damaged area. Sometimes, the injections can help decrease the inflammation in the area and give pain relief.
Many of our clients who have been in a car, motorcycle or truck accident get better with therapy, some get better with steroid injections, and others need surgery to get better. You should check with your doctor about what treatment plan is best for you. Also, inquire with your doctor about how surgery on your spine will affect the discs above and below the surgical area. For example, if you have a disc removed at L3-4 in your spine, you might be at risk for problems with the disc at L2-3 or L4-5. This is known as adjacent segment disease and can require more surgery on the levels above and below the first area that was injured.
Friedman and Martin is well versed in discussing your medical condition with your doctor in order to present the best evidence possible in your case.