What is a Thoracic Disc Injury?
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. When people think about injuries near their spine, they are often nervous about what kind of consequences can result from this injury. While the spinal cord is an important structure that deserves the utmost protection, a disc injury isn’t the same as a spinal cord injury.
Why Did I Suffer a Thoracic Disc Injury?
The spinal cord is one of the most important structures in the body because almost all of the body’s nerves run through this cord. It sends out nerves to every area of the body, modulating motor and sensory perception by the body. To help provide protection to this cord, the body covers the cord in bony vertebrae. Similar to other bones in the body, these bones are cushioned by discs. In the middle of the spinal cord rests the thoracic discs. While some people can injure their discs through wear and tear, other people may suffer a traumatic injury. For example, people can suffer a compression injury with an impact to the top of the skull in an auto accident. Other people may suffer a disc injury when they fall from a great height. While slightly less common, other people may suffer a direct blow to their back. If this force is severe enough to cause a thoracic disc injury, the spinal cord could also have been compromised.
Assessing the Severity of the Injury
If people want to know how serious their thoracic disc injury is, they will need to have their spinal cord imaged. The best tool for looking at the spine is the MRI scan. This scan will take a look at the structure of the disc, the vertebrae around it, and the nerves running through the cord. If the disc is damaged, the scan will demonstrate this and the physician can start to plan a treatment course. Furthermore, the scan will also show if other structures are injured. If a spinal cord injury is present or if bone fractures are present, these will be repaired as well.
What are the Consequences of the Injury?
For a patient with a thoracic disc injury, treatment will generally start with oral pain medications. Many patients will recover in six to eight weeks; however, some patients may need surgery to repair the ruptured disc. Patients may lose a small degree of mobility with this treatment but it will also remove almost all of their symptoms. If the spinal cord itself was damaged during the injury, patients may have permanent loss of motor and sensory function in certain areas of their body, along with chronic pain. This may get better over time with rehabilitation after traumatic injuries; however, most spinal cord injuries carry a poor prognosis. Every injury to a spinal disc is treated differently. The most important factor is whether or not the spinal cord is still intact. This grades the severity and determines the prognosis.
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Contact an Experienced Spinal Injury Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Injury Lawyer. Patients suffering an injury to their spine after a motor vehicle accident should contact me at (916) 921-6400 for friendly, free advice. When calling long distance, use this number-(800) 404-5400.
I am a member of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are a group of some of the top trial lawyers in the country, having won million-dollar settlements in prior cases.
Please look at some of my prior verdicts and settlements here.
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