If you’ve been in a car crash, fallen, or had another serious accident, you may have a back injury. Back injuries that affect the spine can require surgery. Only a doctor who evaluates you can tell you whether your back injury requires surgery, however. But it can be valuable to know about the types of back injuries that surgery may help with. While surgery can’t reverse paralysis and other serious spinal injuries, it may prevent more harm.
Some types of back injuries from accidents that may benefit from surgery include:
- Herniated disks – In a discectomy surgery, the herniated (or ruptured) portion of a disk is removed. Removal helps to relieve inflammation and pain. To get to the herniated disk, part of the vertebrae may have to be removed.
- Spinal stenosis – Spinal stenosis, which is narrowing of spaces in the spine, can be caused by the physical force of an accident. To help with spinal stenosis, a laminectomy may be performed to relieve nerve pressure. This surgery involves removing bone overlying the spinal canal.
- Fractures – Spinal fusion joins two or more bones together to add stability to the spine and relieve pain.
Unfortunately, back surgery is very expensive. As an example, spinal fusions can cost more than $100,000. Even if you have good medical insurance, it will probably not cover all of your costs. With out-of-pocket expenses you could owe tens of thousands of dollars.
If your crash or other accident was due to another person’s negligence or intentional act, you may be able to get help with paying for your surgery through a legal claim. It can be smart to speak with an experienced spinal injury lawyer in Houston to understand your options.
What Type of Back Pain Requires Surgery?
A variety of things besides injury accidents can cause back pain. These include arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, and other diseases, excess weight, age, and muscle sprains and strains from heavy lifting and other overexertion. Depending on the cause of the back pain, surgery may not be an option or may be a last resort following other treatments.
If you have back pain following an accident, get medical attention right away. Serious injuries to the spine are not always obvious. When traumatic back injuries happen, additional damage can be caused in the following days by swelling, inflammation, bleeding, and other fluid that accumulates around the spinal cord.
A doctor will determine whether your back pain is due to injury from your accident. They can then advise you whether your type of back pain requires surgery to help get rid of or reduce it.
How Do You Know if You Need Back Surgery?
Again, only a doctor can tell you if you need back surgery after an injury. Be sure to inform the doctor of any unusual symptoms you have following an injury accident. Some signs and symptoms of possibly severe spinal cord injury that require emergency medical treatment include:
- Loss of movement
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Painful back spasms
- Extreme back pain and pressure
- Stinging pain from nerve damage
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty balancing and walking
- Incoordination and weakness in the body
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation.
How Serious Spinal Cord Injuries Happen
Traumatic spinal cord injuries happen in various ways. If you’ve experienced any of the following accidents and have any pain, stiffness, or other symptoms in your back, make an appointment for medical care. In addition to helping avoid worse injury, seeing a doctor right away will be important evidence for your legal claim.
Common causes of traumatic spinal injuries include:
- Car and motorcycle wrecks. According to the Mayo Clinic website, these accidents account for almost 50% of new spinal cord injuries annually.
- Slipping and falling, or falling from heights. Almost a third of spinal cord injuries happen in falls.
- Diving into shallow water and other sports injuries. Recreational activities cause about 10% of neck, spine, and back injuries.
In addition to accidents that cause spinal injuries, violent acts (including shootings and knife attacks) can sever or otherwise injure the spine. Approximately 13% of spinal injuries are from violence.
When you suffered a back injury that was due to another party’s negligence, or if you were a victim of violence, don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced back injury attorney. A spinal injury lawyer who handles cases involving negligence and intentional injuries may be able to help you get financial compensation.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with a Back Injury?
If a negligent or violent person caused the accident that injured you, a skilled attorney will help you negotiate with their insurer to get fair compensation to cover your injuries. A spinal injury attorney can also represent you in court should you not be able to reach agreement with the insurer.
You could potentially get payment for:
- Surgery and other medical expenses
- In-home care if you need assistance with the daily tasks of living
- Lost wages and lost future earnings if you can no longer work
- Pain and suffering for chronic pain and emotional anguish.
How much you could potentially get will depend on the extent of your injuries. But before you can get compensation, it must be proven that another party negligently or intentionally caused your back injuries. To prove fault in complex injury cases typically requires the knowledge of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Contact an Experienced Back Injury Lawyer in Houston for help
A back injury lawyer in Houston from the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant can help you understand your options for compensation. Serious spinal injuries that require surgery can cause financial devastation to families. The money you could potentially get through a legal claim can help pay for the surgery and other medical treatment, as well as help cover lost wages and other losses you’ve experienced because of your injuries.
Call our law firm today to learn how we may be able to help. You can arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with a compassionate and experienced attorney by calling (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.