Serious Spine Injury
by Bret Schnitzer
Neck injuries are commonplace for auto accident victims. The rapid acceleration and deceleration of the neck due to the forces of a car accident can cause many types of neck injuries. Striking your head or body inside the vehicle during impact can also cause many types of neck injuries. This article will address one such neck injury common yet serious and related to a motor vehicle accident. This injury is known as a Cervical Radiculopathy. Cervical or neck and Radiculopathy or radiation down the upper extremity. The Attorneys at Serious Auto Accidents can assist you with your case with over 25 years of injury law experience. Call us for a free consultation at (313) 389-2234. You will be glad you did.
What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?
Cervical radiculopathy is the damage to the nerve function that results if one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed. Damage to nerve roots in the cervical area can cause pain and the loss of sensation in various upper extremities, depending on where the damaged roots are located.
What Are The Causes of Cervical Radiculopathy?
Damage can occur as a result of pressure from material from a ruptured disc, bulging disc, degenerative changes in bones, arthritis or other injuries that put pressure on the nerve roots. The spine is comprised of vertebrae which are bony structures which have a disc between each of them. The disc is similar to a donut or shock absorber. The outer portion of the disc is called the annulus fibrosus and is hard and rigid. The interior portion of the disc is called the nucleus pulposus and is jelly like and soft. When the disc is injured due to a traumatic auto accident the jelly material can push out and cause the outer rigid portion of the disc to bulge or herniate. When this occurs the disc material can press on the nerves that run down the spine causing a pressure resulting in a radiating pain down the extremity and causing pain and weakness.
What Are The Symptoms of Cervical Radiculopathy?
The main symptom of cervical radiculopathy is pain that spreads into the arm, neck, chest and/or shoulders. A person with radiculopathy may experience muscle weakness and/or numbness or tingling in fingers or hands. Other symptoms may include lack of coordination, especially in the hands. The tingling or numbness or weakness that accompanies a radiculopathy is a common but a serious condition.
What Are The Treatments of Cervical Radiculopathy?
Cervical radiculopathy may be treated with a combination of pain medications such as corticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatory steroidal drugs) or non-steroidal pain medication (Motrin or Aleve) and physical therapy. Steroids may be prescribed either orally or injected epidurally (into the space above the dura, which is the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord).
Physical therapy might include gentle cervical traction and mobilization, exercises, and other modalities to reduce pain. If significant compression on the nerve exists to the extent that motor weakness results, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure. Surgery can be a fusion of the vetabrae by removing the disc. Other surgeries include lamenectomy/ Discectomy surgery which can be performed with or without a surgical fusion. Other surgical procedures include medtronic implants or artificial disc replacement surgery.
The Consequences Of A Serious Neck Injury From A Car Accident
More often then not even with surgery or the treatment described above, an injury of this kind is permanent and has permanent consequences. It is therefore important to hire an attorney that understands these injuries and can get you compensation for the long term effect of the damages from a serious auto accident injury to the neck or back.
The serious auto accident attorneys have handled many neck and back injury cases. We know the medicine, we know the anatomy and we know how to make the insurance company pay the full compensation for your injuries caused by the car accident. Call us for a free consultation at (313) 389-2234