Most back pain is associated with an injury to the neck (cervical spine) or lower back (lumbar spine). Injuries to the thoracic spine and sacral spine are rare. When the thoracic spine or sacral spine is injured, it’s usually fractured which is a serious spine injury.
Insurance companies always try to defend neck and back injury cases by claiming the injury was previously existing. But we know that when a previously existing injury is injured again, it becomes much worse than it would have been.
When our client, Catherine B., injured her neck we demanded the insurance company pay the entire $1,000,000 policy. The insurance company argued that she had prior neck surgery from a previous accident approximately ten years earlier. But we argued that the prior neck surgery put her in a worse condition than she would have been and she needed a new fusion at the same level. The insurance company settled by paying the entire $1,000,000 policy.
When our client, Nyda, injured her lower back, the insurance company argued that she had prior medical treatment for back pain for 10 years with the last treatment only two months before her car accident. The insurance company offered $150,000 but we settled for $750,000.
Lumbar spine injuries can include a fracture (broken bone) of the spine; injury to a disc; or a soft tissue injury. If there is a fracture or if surgery is needed, we consider it to be a serious injury no matter what kind of accident caused it, including car accidents where we must prove you have a “legally serious” injury.
Serious lower back injuries involving a disc (or disk):
- Bulging lumbar disc is where a disc is damaged causing it to bulge out and press on a nerve.
- Herniated lumbar disc is where the disc material has gone beyond bulging to the point where it has broken through its protective outer coating and is pressing on a nerve.
Accidents causing damage to a disc result in one or more bulging discs, herniated discs, or a combination of bulging and herniated discs. This type of injury usually gets worse over time and must either be tolerated and treated with constant exercise and stretching or be treated with surgery.
Lower back injuries to the lumbar spine often referred to as a soft tissue injury include the following:
- Muscle strain.
- Ligament sprain.
Accidents that cause a muscle strain or ligament sprain will result in mild to moderate discomfort or pain but not serious pain and should go away within 4-12 weeks after the accident. In some cases, a ligament sprain that causes instability may require surgery.
There are several lumbar discs, labeled as L1 at the top of the lower back to L5 which is at the bottom of the lower back. Below the L5 lumbar vertebrae are the sacrum.
In this case, our client has a “soft tissue lower back injury” which eventually required surgery. These x-ray images show the hardware installed in the lower spine.
If you have neck or lower back pain after your accident, we would like to represent you! Please call us for a free consultation at 1-800-HURT-911 1-800-487-8911
Videos showing minimal incision or minimally invasive spine surgery
Stryker® Percutaneous Discectomy using a very tiny vacuum (actual surgery) (Stryker is a brand name)
Hydro Percutaneous Discectomy using a water jet (animation)
Percutaneous laser discectomy (animation)
Doctors have begun doing stem cell implant surgery for lumbar disk injuries. We have several clients who have had stem cell implant surgery for lower back injuries sustained in an accident.
What is stem cell therapy?
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