Many back injuries from motorcycle accidents are caused by a herniated or ruptured spinal disc.
A herniated disc is commonly referred to as a slipped disc. 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 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.
The outer membrane of the spinal disc consists of several bunches of connective tissues made up of sturdy, expandable fiber-like materials. This annulus fibrosus helps detain the supple and elastic nucleus inside the disc. The underlying layers of the spinal disc help keep the hyaline cartilage plates on the vertebrae from rubbing against each other.
The spinal discs consist of fluid filled tissues made of fiber like materials and connected to each other. The fluent content helps make the spinal disc elastic and sock absorbing. Unfortunately, the percentage of fluid content in the disc reduces as we age. This means that the soft materials inside the disc start to harden as we age. As a result, adults or elderly persons have less elastic and weaker spinal disks more susceptible to injuries from a car accident.
How the Spinal Discs React to Stress
If you suffer an injury in the spinal disc from a motorcycle accident, the soft underlying materials of the disc may swell, putting pressure on the spinal canal. If your underlying tissues are strong and healthy, the disc should be able to come back to its normal position after a temporary distortion. However, if that does not happen, then you may suffer serious injury to the disc. (Read about recovering from back injuries after an accident).
Chicago Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you have suffered from a slipped disc in a motorcycle accident, you may qualify for compensation from the at-fault party. Contact a Chicago motorcycle accident attorney to learn more about your legal rights. Call Willens Law Offices at (312) 957-4166 for a free case evaluation.