Accidents lead to numerous different types of injuries including herniated or ruptured spinal discs. Spinal discs are made of supple pads that fill in the gap between the bones in the spinal column or vertebrae. A slipped disc happens when the inner material of the spinal disc swells, causing pressure on the outer membrane and the spinal cord.
What is a Slipped Disc?
Various medical terms refer to the condition of a herniated or slipped disc, such as:
- rupture of the intervertebral disc
- disc protrusion
- posterior protrusions of the intervertebral disc
- displaced intervertebral cartilage
- herniation of the nucleus pulposus
- herniated intervertebral disc
- extrusion of intervertebral disc
- dislocation of the intervertebral disc
- inter vertebral disc injury
- rupture of the nucleus pulposus
- prolapsed disc
- protruded intervertebral disc
- enchondrosis of the intervertebral cartilage
- intervertebral disc syndrome
Shock Absorbers in the Spine
Spinal discs are positioned inside the vertebrae and are kept in position by the ligaments in the spinal cord. The bones and muscles of the spinal cord are connected with the ligaments. The discs work as shock absorbers and keep the vertebrae from rubbing against each other. What makes the spinal disc so flexible and shock absorbing is a small ball called nucleus pulposus located in the center of the disc.
How Spinal Discs React to Stress from an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident
If you suffer an injury in the spinal disc from a motorcycle accident, the soft underlying materials of the disc may swell. 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.
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.
Symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- Low back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Tingling (“pins and needles” sensation) or numbness in one leg
- Weakness in certain muscles in one or both legs
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
Georgia Medical Treatment for Slipped Disc
The medical treatment recommended for a slipped disc will depend on the severity and specific type of injury and may include:
- Cortisone Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Facet Joint Nerve Block Injections
- Nerve Burning Procedure
- Spinal Fusion
- Artificial disc replacement
- Total Disc Replacement
Herniated discs can go undiagnosed so it is critical that your treating doctor performs a thorough medical exam after a motorcycle accident. Your pain and symptoms might not indicate that you have a herniated disc. If you are taken to the emergency room from the scene of an Atlanta motorcycle accident, the emergency room physician might order an X-ray, CT-Scan or MRI. An MRI is best for diagnosing herniated discs. If the emergency room doctor informs you that you have suffered a herniated disc it is important that you follow his or her instructions. They will likely advise you to make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible. In most cases your primary care doctor will then refer you to an orthopedic to outline a suitable course of treatment for your injuries.
Contact an Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Back and disc injuries, such as herniated or bulging discs, can be life changing, affecting a victim’s career and daily life activities. If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, it is important to speak to an Atlanta motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.