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Annular Tears After A Car Accident

An annular tear develops in someone’s lower back, typically inside of the discs where the soft gel is located.

annular spine injury xray

Each year millions of people in the United States of America are involved in car accidents. The reasons behind these accidents are numerous, but the injuries that result are traumatic.

Injuries to the back and spinal cord are amongst the most common following a car accident in California. When the injury is life-threatening or severe, the results can be devastating to both the victim and their family. One such type of spinal injury is an annular disc tear.

What is an Annular Disc Tear?

An annular tear can occur with simple old age or if there is too much stress placed on the disc by either the routine stresses of everyday life or by a traumatic event, such as a car accident in California.

When the strong outer layer of an intervertebral disc rips or tears it is known as an annular tear. The intervertebral disc is the strong ligament that connects one vertebra to the other. The shock-absorbing cushions between each vertebra are the discs. Each of these discs has a very strong outer ring of fibers known as the annulus fibrosus.

These discs play an important function in the back and neck. They provide support for the spinal column and help protect the discs.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal discs between the vertebrae act as shock absorbers to the spine, protecting the spine from trauma. Spinal discs are made up of four parts:

  1. The vertebral end-plate that is above and below the disc.
  2. The nucleus pulposus, the inner part of the disc made of soft cartilage.
  3. The annulus fibrosis, the outer shell of hard, fibrous cartilage, is flexible and allows movement and holds the vertebrae together.
  4. The nerves around the outer edge of the disc.

How To Identify Annular Tears

When a car accident trauma results in annular tears in the spinal discs, victims usually exhibit symptoms of pain in the back and the legs and pain that increases while sitting.

What Are Some Symptoms of An Annular Tear?

Some of the most common symptoms associated with this type of injury include:

  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Weakness in arms and/or legs
  • Tingling
  • Back or neck pain

Many people find that the pain is worse when sitting compared to standing. When a person sneezes, coughs, or lifts an object, these positions can load pressure onto the disc and aggravate the symptoms.

Make sure to see a medical professional after an auto accident no matter how severe your injuries are. If you find that your back or neck pain increases in the days, weeks or even months after the accident, it is important that you keep a written record of your pain and symptoms. Having this documented will help your work with a car accident lawyer and with obtaining compensation from insurance.

Treatment Options Of An Annular Disc Tear

After a doctor comes to the conclusion of your injury of the annular disc tear by either MRI scan or discography test, they will likely be prescribed a physical therapy program along with some other medications.

Annular disc tears can take a long time to heal. Medical practitioners recommend the following treatments:

  • physical therapy
  • limited rest
  • chiropractic treatment
  • pain medication
  • low-impact exercise
  • epidural steroid injections
  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • surgery
  • hot/cold therapy

Most people find pain relief through these treatments over the course of weeks or a few months. However, if the pain continues, it may be wise to seek advice from a doctor who specializes in spine treatment.

Contact a California Car Accident Attorney Today For A Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have suffered a neck or back injury due to someone else’s negligence contact a car accident lawyer today. Monetary compensation cannot erase the effects of a physical injury after a car accident. However, it can help provide the necessary tools to help you or a loved one recover.

Call us for a free consultation at (909) 380-7200 or fill out our online contact form to request your FREE consultation.