According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at UAB, there are roughly 12,500 cases of spinal cord injury every year. One of the most common ways for a spinal cord injury to occur is from an auto accident, although, they also commonly happen in slip and fall scenarios, while on the job, and in sports. The most affected demographic is young men under the age of 30, who account for 60 percent of all spinal cord injuries, according to the Shepherd Center. In many cases, surgery is needed to correct the damage.
When Is Spinal Decompression Surgery Required?
There are a number of procedures that spinal decompression surgery refers to. The procedure is necessary to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots. Injuries that resulted in or caused bulging or collapsed discs, bone growths, stretched ligaments, and thickened joints can all cause the spinal canal and nerve openings to narrow, which causes irritation. As an example, victims of serious car collisions can suffer from herniated discs (also called slipped or ruptured discs), which may require spinal decompression surgery.
Signs and Symptoms of Spinal Nerve Compression
If you have been injured on the job, in an auto collision, or had a bad fall, be aware of the following signs and symptoms of spinal damage:
- Back pain;
- Tingling or numbness, even in the lower extremities;
- Sudden or unexplained unsteadiness;
- Paralysis; and
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction.
Types of Spinal Decompression Surgery Available
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the following procedures are common types of surgery to alleviate the complications of spinal compression.
Corpectomy surgery involves the removal of a vertebra and its disks;
Diskectomy requires removing part of a disk in order to reduce pressure on the nerve roots;
Foraminotomy or foraminectomy surgery requires removing bone and tissue to expand the nerve root openings for their exit of the spinal cord. A foraminectomy refers to a procedure that removes a large portion of this bone and tissue;
Laminotomy or laminectomy involve removing part of the bone arch ( the lamina) from the spinal canal. A laminotomy involves removing only a portion of the lamina, while a laminectomy requires removing the entire lamina. This reduces pressure by increasing the area within the spinal canal; and
Osteophyte removal requires the removal of bone spurs.
In some cases, multiple of the above procedures are used to alleviate spinal compression. As with any surgery, there are risks involved. These risks include:
- Nerve damage
- Tissue damage
- An allergic reaction to anesthesia.
Contact The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers
The recovery process depends on the person and the surgery, but generally, requires a hospital stay of four or five days. Pain medication will often be prescribed, and rehabilitation, which will be time intensive, will likely include physical therapy. Surgery is costly, and the time spent away from work will be large. If you have been injured by another’s carelessness or recklessness, and the injury resulted in spinal damage that requires spinal decompression surgery, you may be entitled to damages to help pay for your costly procedures, as well as pain and suffering. Give one of our experienced San Diego auto accident attorneys a call today at the The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers for legal assistance. We do not charge a consultation fee, so there is no reason to wait.