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Herniated Disc Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents

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A herniated disc injury may take an extended period of time to heal, requiring extensive treatment and even surgery.

Herniated Disc Injuries Caused by Truck AccidentsA common injury caused by truck accidents is a herniated disc. Our spine is made of 26 vertebrae cushioned by soft discs. A herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc, is a condition in which the disc slips out of it’s place or ruptures, putting pressure on a nerve. It generally leads to weakness, pain, and numbness. Most common herniated disc injuries occur in the lower back and other common locations are cervical discs. Herniated discs can be caused by the impact resulting from a truck accident.

Symptoms of Herniated Discs

  • tingling
  • burning
  • aching pain
  • radiculopathy
  • numbness
  • sharp pain in hip, leg, calf, foot (slipped disc in lower back)
  • pain moving a shoulder, neck, arm, fingers (slipped disc in neck).

The symptoms may occur on one side of the body and pain will build slowly and worsens when coughing or sneezing, when walking or bending, at night, or after sitting.

Diagnosis and Treatment of a Herniated Disc

To diagnose a herniated disc, a doctor may perform an examination to check reflexes, strength, and numbness. The doctor may ask you to move around, walk, or bend to check if there is any pain caused by movement.

Diagnostic tools used to test for herniated tests include:

  • X-Ray
  • EMG
  • Nerve conduction study
  • CT
  • MRI

These tests help diagnose the exact location and extent of the injury. Treatment includes pain medication, physical therapy, and a few days of rest. More serious cases may require surgical treatment.

Surgical Treatment for Herniated Discs

If a serious herniated disc injury is caused by a truck accident, the patient may not benefit from conservative treatment and may have to seek surgical treatment. Depending on the location and extent of the injury, the doctor may recommend the following surgical treatments:

  • Discectomy: Involves removing the material from the herniated disc that is pressing upon the nerve or spinal cord. The treatment is effective for both herniated and ruptured discs.
  • Spinal fusion: This surgery involves fusing together the vertebrae surrounding the painful disc using surgical hardware. It is an invasive surgery and the patient will need to spend a few days in the hospital and undergo physical therapy to restore the motion and function of the affected parts.
  • Laminectomy: The portion of vertebrae forming a protective arch over the lamina or spinal cord is removed. The entire lamina on selected vertebrae may be completely removed, including the thickened tissue that has caused narrowing of the spinal cord.

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