Herniated Disc InjuryHerniated disc injuries are probably one of the most common types of injuries sustained in an accident, and accident victims sustain this type of injury in just about any type of accident you can think of such as slip and fall accidents, bus accidents, or even golf cart accidents. As such, the likelihood that you or one of your family members will sustain a herniated disc injury at some point in your life is high given the fact that physically traumatic events are becoming more and more prevalent in our society. Due to this fact, it’s important for you to be aware of the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for accident victims who sustain a herniated disc injury.
Causes of Herniated Disc InjuriesThe rate at which herniated disc injuries occur in the U.S. is about 5 to 20 injuries per 1000 adults according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and indeed, there are factors that make individuals more at risk of sustaining a herniated disc injury. For example, according to the NCBI, adults over thirty are more likely to sustain a herniated disc, and males sustain herniated disc injuries at a rate of two to one as compared to females. There are two events that can cause you to sustain a herniated disc injury, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The first cause is natural. There are 33 vertebrae in the human spine. While all of these vertebrae are not separated by vertebral discs, many are, and as you age, the vertebrae and intervertebral slowly deteriorate as you age. Due to this process, even a minor twist or movement can cause a disc to herniate after a certain amount of degeneration. In contrast, a single traumatic event can also cause a herniated disc injury. Events such as car accidents or slip and fall accidents cause the accident victim’s spine to sustain trauma that can cause an intervertebral disc to become swollen or to rupture in a weak area of the disc.
Herniated Disc Injury SymptomsThere are multiple nerves in and around your spine. As such, a herniated disc can not only cause you to have symptoms in the region where the herniated disc is located but also in other parts of your body. Typical symptoms associated with a herniated disc injury include:
- Pain in your buttocks, thighs, and calfs
- Pain in your arms and shoulders
- Numbness or tingling in various parts of your body
- Muscle weakness
Treatments for Herniated DiscsA herniated disc injury can be either permanent or temporary depending on the severity of the injury itself, and the treatment your doctor recommends will also be influenced by the severity of your injury. However, as a general matter, herniated disc treatments can be separated into two categories, surgical and non-surgical. Surgical remedies are focused on pain reduction and increase your overall level of physical functionality. Surgical procedures for herniated disc injuries include:
- Discectomy: This procedure involves removing the herniated portion of the disc surgically, and in combination with another procedure such as spinal fusion or by itself.
- Spinal Fusion: This procedure involves removing the herniated disc completely and fusing the vertebrae above and below the herniated disc.
- Disc Replacement: This procedure involves the complete removal of the herniated disc and replacing it with a prosthetic disc.