The discs in between each one of our vertebrae and our spinal column play an important role. These are like little shock absorbers that help ensure that the bones in the spine do not grind against one another when we go about our daily movements. Unfortunately, vehicle accidents can lead to specific types of injuries to the discs in our spine, and if a disc becomes ruptured or herniated, this could necessitate a disc replacement.
The goal of a disc replacement is to improve a person’s comfort. When doctors have reached the point where they are discussing disc replacement for a patient, this means that a person is likely an incredible pain that is unlikely to be resolved through typical treatments such as physical therapy and pain medication.
Doctors will typically only recommend a disc replacement surgery if the back pain is coming from mainly one or two discs in the lower spine, the individual does not have major joint disease or compression of the nerves in their spine already, and if the person is not excessively overweight. Additionally, doctors may not perform the surgery if the person has had any previous dental surgery or if they have scoliosis or some other type of spinal deformity.
This procedure is sometimes done as an alternative to spinal fusion. Many studies have shown that disc replacements have better outcomes for the patient if the patient does not have spinal instability.
Individuals who undergo district placement surgery will be operated on from the front, which means the surgeon will go through their abdomen or neck to reach the affected area, where an artificial disk will be placed to replace the damaged disc. After the surgeon clears the area and places the new disk in place, the blood vessels and other soft tissues will be placed back into their original position, and the incision will be closed from the front.
Those who undergo spinal disc surgery after a car accident will likely be in the hospital for a few days, but additional recovery will happen over the next one or two months as an individual undergoes physical therapy and rehabilitation. The body will need to adjust to the newly implanted disc and recover from the incision.
Individuals who sustain back injuries caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver on the roadway should be able to recover compensation for all of their medical expenses. However, a spinal disc replacement surgery can be rather expensive, as this is an invasive surgery on a delicate area of the body.
Most vehicle accident claims are resolved through settlements with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, but it may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the other party to recover additional types of compensation above and beyond the insurance carrier policy limits.
We strongly encourage any person who sustains a spinal disc injury in a car accident to work with a skilled Denver car accident lawyer who can investigate the case and help recover complete compensation, either through an insurance settlement or a personal injury jury verdict.