A bulging disc injury occurs when more than half of the disc’s soft cartilage is pushed out. Compression of spinal nerve roots or the spinal cord may occur through the soft cartilage inside the disc has not torn through the outer layer of the disc.
Symptoms of a bulging disc are:
- Radiating pain down a leg or arm
- Buttocks pain
- Swelling in the area of the bulging disc
- Tingling or numbness of the lower leg, calf, foot, arm or hand
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased sexual performance
- Bowel irregularity and kidney problems
A bulging disc is a piece of cartilage in the back that is protruding either backward or to the side, commonly after an injury, perhaps a fall or after a crash/collision. The lower back is a common site for this type of injury. The normally smooth S-curve of the lower back makes this area particularly vulnerable, especially in deceleration injuries, like car crashes. Wearing a seat belt may not prevent this injury, since the spine is typically flexed forward, pivoting on the belt, creating abnormal forces for the lower spine to endure. This injury may also be called a slipped disc.
The cartilage acts as a shock absorber for the bones of the spine that are stacked one over the other, and held together with ligaments and little joints between projections on the bones. Without these little discs, the spine would always be rigid. The ability to flex and extend the spine is integral to nearly every physical activity of humans. These discs facilitate bending, reaching, throwing, running, diving, climbing, and a host of other movements that we depend upon for healthy living.
Treatment for Bulging Discs:
The first step in making a correct diagnosis is to obtain side and front X-rays of the back. To get a good look at the discs, a MRI is usually performed as well. If there is no nerve injury, the disc is simply left alone. Usually the pain will diminish, and, if the patient is careful, it may well stay put, although not in its ideal, normal position. You can often function rather normally, even with this. Physical therapy techniques are usually very helpful. In a majority of cases, surgery is required to partially or completely remove the disc. Bulging disc surgery is one of those areas of medicine where relief of symptoms is obvious very early, and this is gratifying for both the physicians and patients. A period of extreme caution after surgery is usually warranted, and yields great dividends.
If you or a loved one have experienced a bulging disc because of another party’s negligent or reckless conduct, let us help. Our goal is to secure the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Contact us today.