A serious car accident can result in a wide number of injuries. One of the most common areas damaged in a motor vehicle crash is your back. In cases of severe back injury, such as herniated discs and spinal compression fractures, surgery may be necessary to relieve chronic pain and restore sensation or mobility in extremities.
Common Back Injury Symptoms to Watch for After a Car Accident
When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s natural for your body to tense up upon impact, which can cause strain on your back and neck muscles. This reaction can often cause aches and pains for weeks after an accident but can also be signs of a more serious back injury.
You should request an examination from an emergency medical responder or a primary care physician as soon as possible when you have been involved in a car accident. If you have not yet seen a medical professional for an evaluation, you should contact a Front Royal personal injury attorney to review your situation and find an appropriate source for a diagnosis.
When you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be necessary to see a specialist diagnose a serious back injury:
- chronic pain that does not seem to be triggered by any specific event;
- loss of sensation in extremities;
- tingling, numbness, or radiating pain in the arms or legs; and
- loss of spinal flexibility.
Damage to your spinal column, the discs between your vertebrae, and the nerves in your spinal cord can all result in back pain that may be relieved only with surgery. There are several types of back injuries that can occur from a car accident that make surgical treatments necessary to restore function and resolve the discomfort.
Back Injuries That May Require Surgery After a Car Accident
Herniated discs are among some of the most common types of back injuries that can cause chronic pain and nerve damage after a car accident. This condition occurs when the disc between your vertebrae ruptures, causing the cushioning fluid to leak out and create friction between the bones. Ruptured discs may need to be repaired or even replaced by surgery if they cause severe impairment.
Spinal compression fractures can also create chronic pain and impairments that surgery may only relieve. This type of spinal damage happens when the vertebrae in your spine are compressed and cracked, weakening the bone. While this injury is most common in those with osteoporosis, serious trauma such as a car accident also can cause abrupt fractures that need to be repaired by surgical procedures such as vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, or spinal fusion surgery.
Surgical procedures are expensive and the time you will have to take off work to recover will cost you in wages and paid time off. If the crash that damaged your spine was not your fault, you should not be held responsible for these losses. An experienced car accident attorney can help you hold the at-fault driver responsible for your damages.
Common Types of Back Surgeries After Car Accidents
There are several types of back surgery a car accident victim may undergo. The five most common procedures are:
- Spinal fusion. In this procedure, two or more vertebrae are joined together to relieve cases of herniated discs or spinal fracture.
- Vertebroplasty. To repair a spinal fracture, a surgeon might opt to inject a bone cement mixture into a vertebra.
- Kyphoplasty. During this procedure, a balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebra and inflated to allow bone cement to be injected for repair.
- Discectomy. In some situations, the surgeon might decide to completely remove the herniated disc in a discectomy procedure.
- Laminotomy or laminectomy. Portions of or the entire lamina covering the spinal cord are removed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord in this procedure.
While these procedures have gotten more efficient and less invasive over the years, they are still major surgical procedures that can result in weeks—even months— of recovery time. During this healing process, you will most likely be unable to work, resulting in lost income and personal time. If your back surgery was necessary due to injuries incurred from a car accident caused by another driver, you have the right to seek damages with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Contact a Virginia Car Accident Attorney After Your Back Injury
After a serious car accident, it’s not uncommon for victims to experience chronic, persistent pain throughout their body. Tensed muscles and nerve damage can result in back pain that may require surgery to find relief and prevent permanent damage. These treatments can be costly, and if your accident was caused by another’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to pay for it yourself!
If you are the victim of someone else’s negligence or carelessness, whether in a car accident or some other type of accident, you have certain rights guaranteed by law. The car accident injury lawyers at Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas are available to help those who have been involved in a Northern Virginia auto accident.
Call 540-636-7100 to speak with an experienced attorney about your back injuries today.