If you’ve been involved in an accident and injured your back, your surgeon may treat you with back surgery. The type of back surgery that your surgeon selects will depend on your complaints, physical findings, and imaging findings. The basic types of spine surgeries that are most often seen in accident cases are as follows: 1) Spinal Fusion: Spinal fusion surgery refers to a procedure where the doctor joins together two or more spinal bones called vertebrae.
The surgeon may use bone or instrumentation to join the vertebrae. A successful fusion surgery will limit the motion between the vertebrae and limit the stretching of the nerves in your spine in the hopes that there will be a decrease in pain. 2) Laminectomy: Your surgeon may choose to perform a laminectomy, or may even do a laminectomy as part of a spinal fusion procedure. In a laminectomy, parts of bone, bone spurs or ligaments may be removed. A laminectomy can result in some spinal instability, leading to a spinal fusion. 3) Foraminotomy: A foraminotomy may be appropriate if your surgeon feels that the sides of vertebrae need to be widened to allow the nerves that exit the spine to have more room. The surgeon, in doing this procedure, hopes to relieve the pressure on the nerves, reducing pain. Like a laminectomy, a foraminotomy can result in some spinal instability, leading to a spinal fusion. 4) Discectomy: A discectomy refers to a procedure where the surgeon removes all or part of a disc or disc material. The disc acts as a shock absorber between the vertebrae in your back. Sometimes, in an accident, those discs can be injured, causing them to rupture, leak or “herniate.” The disc material may touch or push on the nerves that are in your spine, causing pain or numbness in the area of the body where that corresponding nerve runs. Sometimes, the symptoms result in sciatica, arm pain or loss of bladder control. The prospect of going through back surgery can be scary. In all likelihood, the surgeon will not be able to guarantee that you will be free from pain and disability. Often times, even with a successful back surgery, you will be left with certain restrictions or limitation that may make it difficult for you to do all of the work you once did, pursue the activities you once did, or generally be as active as you once were. You may be entitled to benefits or damages under the law if you have to undergo back surgery due to the fault of another or if you are injured on the job. Call Caldwell Law Group now to get more information about what you may be entitled to if you’ve had back surgery.