Due to the force of the impact in a motor vehicle accident, pressure can be placed on the spine and spinal discs, which can cause a herniated disc injury. This injury, generally referred to as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, is often the result of a rear-end collision, T-bone accident, or head-on collision. Victims in the Twin Cities can suffer from chronic pain, discomfort, and nerve damage that can affect their ability to work and enjoy their former quality of life.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
Spinal discs are the cushions between the vertebrae that make up a person’s spine. These discs have a hard outer surface and an inner jelly-like center. A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner cartilage pushes out of the disc through a crack or break in the outer surface. When a disc herniates, the resulting protrusion can press on the surrounding nerves and cause painful inflammation of the nerve root.
How Does a Herniated Disc Affect a Car Accident Victim?
Herniated discs most commonly occur in the lower back, but the discs in the neck can also be damaged when the neck is jerked back and forth violently in a car accident. A herniated disc can be a lifelong problem, so it is important to seek prompt medical attention so your condition does not worsen and to retain a lawyer immediately to protect your right to compensation for your injuries. We are here to help you do just that by providing you with a free referral service to qualified physicians and attorneys in the Twin Cities area.
Accident victims may experience the following symptoms, depending on the location of the herniated disc:
- Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disc is in your lower back, you may experience sciatica, which occurs when the protruding disc puts pressure on the long nerve that runs from the base of the spine down the back of the leg. Sciatica can cause intense pain in your buttocks, thigh, calf, and possibly even your foot. When a herniated disc occurs in the neck, the nerve pain may radiate to your shoulder and down your arm.
- Numbness and tingling. It is common to experience numbness and tingling in the body part that is served by the impinged or damaged nerves.
- Weakness. The muscles affected by the inflamed nerves can weaken, which can cause you to stumble when walking or have difficulty holding objects.
Possible Serious Complications From a Herniated Disc
In some cases, a herniated disc can put pressure on the cauda equine, a group of long nerves that are located at the lower end of the spinal cord. This bundle of nerve roots sends and receives messages to and from the legs, feet, and pelvic organs. Although it is fairly rare, a herniated disc can cause injury to the cauda equine. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may need emergency medical treatment to avoid permanent incontinence, weakness, or paralysis of the legs:
- Sudden worsening symptoms that limit your ability to perform your daily duties
- Bowel or bladder problems
- Pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both of your legs
- Loss of sensation in the inner thighs, backs of the legs, feet, or area around the rectum
- Sexual dysfunction
- Severe pain in your lower back
Let Us Provide You With a Free Referral to a Doctor and Lawyer in the Twin Cities Area
If a car accident in the Twin Cities caused your herniated disc, you may need expensive and lengthy medical care for your injury. You deserve to be treated by a doctor who understands this serious medical condition and to be represented by a skilled lawyer when negotiating your settlement with the negligent motorist. Take advantage of our free doctor and attorney referral service—call 763-251-PAIN today to speak to one of our Twin Cities accident experts.