Herniated Disc Injury

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What is a Disc Herniation?

A disc is the cushion-like cartilage located between the hard vertebra bones of your spine. The vertebrae and the discs that cushion them help us to flex or bend, turn sideways, touch our toes and rotate.

Also called a ruptured disc or slipped disc, a herniated disc results when a crack in the tough outer layer of cartilage allows some of the softer inner cartilage to protrude out of the disc. The protrusion of inner cartilage in a herniated disc usually happens in one distinct area of the disc and not along a large area of the disc.

A herniated disc injury can occur at any place along the spine: cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back) or lumbar (low back). Herniations are diagnosed most effectively with MRI scans.

Symptoms of pain may occur if the herniation is such that it compresses upon or impacts a spinal nerve. For example, a classic example of a cervical herniation is pain that radiates (or travels) down the arm into the fingers, along that nerve pathway. Similarly, a classic example of a lumbar herniation is pain that radiates down into the legs, along that nerve pathway.

Herniated Disc Injury

What is the difference between a disc herniation vs bulge?

A herniated disc injury usually happens in one distinct area of the disc and not along a large area of the disc, which is more typical of a bulging disc. Disc bulges are more common and are more likely the result of the aging process than a traumatic event.

My doctor says that I had my disc herniation before this car accident, but it never caused me pain before. Do I still have a case against the driver that caused the accident?

This is not an uncommon thing. Many people have bulging discs or herniated discs that cause no pain whatsoever, and carry on a life full of physical activity. However, if after you have been involved in an trauma, such as an auto accident, slip and fall accident, or been knocked down by a dog, and it is only then that your pre-existing disc herniation causes you pain, in Florida you are still entitled to damages for that pain.

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