A prolapsed disc (also known as a slipped disc or a herniated disc) is a potentially serious condition that can cause pain on one side of the body, which will intensify over time. It may also lead to muscle spasms or, in a worst case scenario, paralysis. Therefore, it is important that you see your doctor as soon as possible if you think you have a prolapsed disc so that you can be put on an appropriate treatment plan.
How prolapsed discs occur
Our spine, from the top of the neck to the lower back, is made up of small segments of bones called vertebrae. Between each vertebrae is an intervertebral disc. These discs basically act as shock absorbers, possessing a tough outer shell (the annulus fibrosus) as well as a soft interior (the nucleus pulposus), which allows them to have the flexibility required to cushion the spine from shock.
When significant forces are applied to the spine, such as the impact of a car collision, these discs can rupture, causing the gel-like material that makes up the nucleus pulposus to bulge outwards. The protruding material can then press against a nerve ending, causing pain in the back or leg. The pressure on the nerves can also cause tingling and numbness (paraesthesia) and the weakening of certain muscles. The severity of the symptoms and the exact area of the body that they affect will be dependent on how large the prolapse is and how far up the spine the prolapse has occurred. Permanent nerve damage and paralysis can happen if a high amount of pressure is put on the nerves of the spinal column.
Prolapsed discs caused by road accidents
There is some controversy as to whether the forces involved in a road traffic accident could cause an entirely healthy disc to prolapse. There is no doubt, however, that if there already is a weakness in a disc, possibly caused by gradual everyday degeneration, then the forces involved in a road traffic accident can be enough to cause the disc to prolapse at the weak spot.
Depending on the force of impact, the lasting effects of the road traffic accident can, in terms of daily living and employment, be very severe indeed.
Thompsons Solicitors can help ease your road to recovery
Many people who have suffered a prolapsed disc will be able to make a recovery in about four to six weeks with the right treatment. This will be likely to include a light exercise routine - designed to keep the patient active while taking the strain off their affected joints - and possibly some medication to help alleviate the pain. However, when the damage is extreme, surgery may be the only option. The option of surgery can bring its own complications and lead to a longer rehabilitation period, causing further disruption to the sufferer's life.
If either you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident that has caused a prolapsed disc or any other common road accident injury, even if you are unsure whether you would be able to claim compensation, contact our No Win No Fee lawyers today on 0800 0891331 or complete our compensation claim form. We can investigate matters for you so you don't have to let the negligence of another affect your quality of life.