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Archive for tag: Livingston Parish Personal Injury

What To Do After A Car Wreck

Shattered Car (cool)

Steps To Take After An Accident:

  • Stay at the Scene
  • Call the Police
  • Exchange Information
  • Talk to Witnesses
  • Inform Your Insurance Company
  • Keep Track of Your Medical Treatment
  • Take Pictures
  • Get a Property Damage Valuation From Insurance
  • Use Caution in Discussing the Incident
  • Consider Hiring an Attorney

Common Injuries Caused By Air Bag Deployment

Wrecked White Car W : Deployed Airbag

Unfortunately, airbags bags cannot always prevent death or result in minor injury.  If someone is leaning very close or against the steering wheel or dashboard at the moment that the airbag deploys the force of the deployment could cause serious injury and even death. The recommended distance drivers stay away from the steering wheel by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is at least 10 inches. Below is a more comprehensive list of possible airbag injuries. The type and severity depends on several factors including speed, closeness to the airbag, and nature of the collision:


  • Abrasion to the face, chest or upper extremities
  • Contusion of the face, chest, upper extremities, knees or internal organs
  • Strain, fracture or blunt trauma to the cervical spine
  • Burns on the chest, upper extremities or hands
  • Fracture or break in the face, upper extremities or wrists
  • Fracture in the skull or rib cage
  • Loss of consciousness or concussion injuries
  • Bruising or swelling of the brain
  • Laceration to the veins, arteries, heart, lungs or brain stem
  • Laceration to the liver or spleen
  • Compression of the brain or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Rupture inside the heart muscle
  • Eye injury such as rupture to the globe, retinal tear, corneal abrasion or conjunctivitis
  • Hearing loss or ear trauma
  • Trauma to the fetus of a pregnant women or puncture in the placenta
  • Internal bleeding
  • Wrist trauma and sprained fingers
  • Irritation in the throat, asthma attack or coughing
  • Irritation of the skin, also called airbag dermatitis

If you were involved in a car wreck and it wasn't your fault, we'd like to help. Please call us today at 225-383-9703 so we can discuss your injuries, get you onto the road of recover and begin the process of having the insurance company pay for the pain, suffering, and medical bills caused by their insured.

What determines how much money I can recover in a lawsuit?

First, it depends on the severity and duration of the injuries and the economic costs associated with the injuries.  You are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills, including estimated future medical bills. You are also entitled to be compensated for past lost wages and for any future loss of earning capacity.  Past medical bills and past lost wages are relatively easy to prove; future medical bills and future loss of earning capacity require expert testimony.  Finally, you are entitled to “general damages” for the past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life you experience or are expected to experience as a result of the accident.  General damages are usually the biggest component of a personal injury recovery.   

Second, it depends on the amount of money available to compensate for your damages.  Unless the defendant is a solvent corporation or an extremely wealthy individual, you are not going to recover more than the insurance limits no matter what your injuries are.  That is – again – why it’s always a good idea to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).

Understanding You Car Insurance Policy

Your auto insurance policy is probably one of the most important policies you have.  Not only does it protect you from trouble if you get pulled over or get in an accident, but it protects your asset: your car.  If something happens, insurance provides the money needed to fix or replace it.  In fact, many companies now have accident forgiveness, which means if you get in an accident and it is your first on their policy, they will forgive it and not raise your rates.  Insurance also covers damage to any property involved. 

More importantly, however, insurance covers you and the loved ones in the car.  Should someone be injured, whether you or the other party involved, insurance can help cover medical costs, damage to property, and more.  All of this is great, but if you do not understand your policy, you will not know what you are covered for and how to use it. Below is a quick guide to understanding your insurance policy. 

Auto Insurance has many different parts to consider.  Please note that deductibles, meaning how much you pay first before the policy kicks in, are up to you.  This guide to choosing the right deductible will help you figure out what is best for you.  Also, there may be a required amount of coverage needed for each coverage type, which varies by state. The types of coverage are broken out below.


Liability Coverage

Liability coverage- Refers to bodily injury and property damage for an accident in which you are at fault, and under or uninsured motorists when you are not at fault.

Bodily Injury – This covers other people who are injured due to your negligence.  It will cover lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering if the injured party chooses to file a claim.

Property Damage Liability – This covers to any damage you cause to property such as trees, fences, and the like.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist – This protects you if you are injured by a driver with no insurance or if you are involved in a hit and run. Underinsured pays the difference if the other person’s insurance is below the actual cost of the damages sustained. This coverage will pay you an additional amount up to your policy limits.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “When purchasing liability coverage, you will need to determine the amount of coverage needed to protect yourself if a loss occurs. Coverage is often sold with a per-person and total per-loss maximum amount. For example, 100/300/50 coverage means that you have coverage of $100,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person, $300,000 total bodily injury liability insurance per accident, and $50,000 property damage liability per accident.”  Choosing low coverage to save money will offer less protection and could leave you footing a big bill in a serious accident.  Plus, some states require certain minimums

Coverage for Your Car

Collision Coverage – This pays for physical damage to your car if the damage was a result of sliding into an object such as a mailbox.

Comprehensive Coverage – This covers damage to your auto for almost all other losses other than collisions. This includes:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Falling Objects
  • Weather Related such as Hail or Flood
  • Vandalism
  • Damage by Glass Breakage or an Animal such as a Bird or Deer

With car coverage you have to pay a deductible, which is the amount you pay before the insurance company pays anything.  Deductibles usually are $250, $500, or $1000.  You want to choose according to your lifestyle and needs.

Other Optional Coverage 

Medical Payment Coverage – This pays for medical and funeral expenses for you or others injured or killed in an accident.  This also covers those with insurance who are struck as pedestrians.

Rental Reimbursement– This covers the cost of a rental car if your car is totaled or needs repairs.  It usually has a daily and total dollar limit, for example, $20-a-day up to $600. 

Towing and Emergency Roadside Service– This covers towing your car to a repair shop.  Know the specifics of this service as your car dealer or a third party service may offer more comprehensive coverage.

Key Points to Remember When Considering an Auto Policy:

  • Your auto insurance policy will financially protect you, giving you peace of mind.
  • Limits for auto damage or injuries resulting from an auto accident.
  • Be aware of the types of coverage offered and what is required in your state.
  • Review your auto policy and stay informed on what and whom your auto policy will cover.
  • Know your state's minimum amount of liability coverage required and decide what amount is best for your situation.
  • Know how to file a claim with your insurance company. Usually, you can find this information on their website or by calling them.
  • When an accident occurs, know what to do to protect yourself and others around you.  This means trading insurance information and making a claim, no matter how small the accident, and having proper first aid in your car.  Get more tips here.

*Source: NAIC


Why You Need UM Coverage




When it comes to driving around in your car, nothing is more important than being safe. Accidents happen every day, leaving people injured or even possibly dead. You cannot put a price on your own life or the life of others which is why you should make sure that you are covered by means of insurance.

Of course, not all insurance policies are affordable. Many of them are ridiculously expensive and people refuse to take out such a policy. Even though this may be better on their pockets at the end of each month, it is not wise to drive around without it. This is where uninsured and underinsured coverage plays a vital role.

In Louisiana, it is required by the state that every person driving a car should have some form of insurance attached to them or their vehicle. It is one of the many states where you could be jailed or fined if you drive around without the safety net of insurance. Many people that can’t afford insurance policies, as mentioned above, opt for underinsured coverage. This makes sure that you and your family is still protected without you having to pay through your teeth at the end of every month.

The UM policies are beneficial when it comes to both parties involved in an accident: those who caused it and those who victim to it. Unfortunately, not all motorists comply with the law as set by the state of Louisiana and not only can they get into big trouble in the event of an accident, but so can you. UM or UIM kicks in so that both persons are protected to any lengths necessary.

Let’s say that you are driving an insured car and someone with an uninsured car drives into you, causing your car to be written off completely. The law states that you should be able to claim expenses from the other person involved, but how will you do that if the other person is not insured at all? UM makes sure that you get the necessary funds in order to build your car back up again with as little money coming from your side as possible. UM will also pay your wages for the time you can’t go to work because of the injuries you have sustained after such an accident. What’s more is that UM and UIM policies will help you pay for the medical costs and your injuries so that you do not have to.

As you can see, UIM and UM policies have many great benefits, but it does not only stop there. It goes the distance to ensure that you are covered when faced with such an enormous financial backlash. Accidents do not only cause worry in a medical aspect, but it can cause unnecessary stress when you have to worry about all the bills you have to pay afterwards. Here are a few more reasons why UM and UIM policies can be beneficial to you, your family, and the car that you are driving:

Health insurance does not always cover all the medical expenses

We know how sticky health insurances can be. A hospital stay can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and even deplete your entire plan just by covering these costs. When you are involved in an accident, the health insurance will pay for these costs, unless you are also on an UM or UIM plan. This plan will pay your bills immediately before you hospital plan or health insurance even has time to kick in. Another reason why this is a better option is because you will be able to get your wages even though you have missed work due to the hospital stay. A health insurance plan will definitely not do that.

It protects you when you are hit by an uninsured driver

As we have already mentioned, this is the prime goal of the UM and UIM plan: to protect you when an uninsured driver is the cause of an accident. In order for your UM or UIM policy to kick in it is important that you follow the procedure pertaining to an accident otherwise it might all be for nought. Write down the details of the other person as well as their insurance details if they have any. Take down their personal details, their licence disk number, and call the police immediately, even if it is a minor accident. The information will then be taken to the claims department of your insurance and it will be dealt with accordingly. This process may take a while especially if injuries have been sustained. The medical aid and medical bills will take longer to sort out than the normal claim disputes.

It takes into account comparative negligence laws

Some states follow comparative negligence laws where part of the blame is shifted to each side of the accident. To use an example: Driver 1 rams into Driver 2 at the stop sign at the end of the road. But it was dark and Driver 2 did not have his headlights on. The insurance companies will then calculate how much of the blame should be shifted to each person so that they can collect damages accordingly. The UM and UIM policies protects people in such cases so that there is no unfair rule being made. This also means that you cannot claim for any accident; if it was your fault then you will have to reimburse the victim.

It protects you when you are hit by a driver whose insurance cannot full cover you

It happens that some insurance policies don’t pay out enough so that both parties are covered.  This is where UM and UIM policies complement the auto insurance of the other person. They will help pay the excess fees if you do have enough money in the fund itself. This way you will not have to dig a hole into your savings to make sure your car is paid off or that your medical bills are taken care of. 

How To Recover For Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft Tissue Injuries

When you suffer soft tissue injuries as a result of an accident it can be difficult to prove through medical documentation alone unlike a break to a bone, however it can still affect day to day life in the short or long term. Getting a fair settlement for your soft tissue injuries is extremely important however challenging it may be. We can help you to prove how the injury has affected your life to ensure you get what you deserve to help pay for medical treatment, loss of earnings and other related expenditures.

Although soft tissue injuries can factor in many different kinds of injury lawsuits, the most common is whiplash as a result of a car accident. It’s not always easy to get proof of this type of injury which is why it can be suggested that there is exaggeration by the plaintiff to try to get a bigger compensation claim. This is why it is so important that documentation is made thoroughly to support an insurance claim and/or lawsuit.

How the insurance company views soft injury claims

Because the majority of soft tissue injury claims are made as a result of a car accidentthe injured person or responsible person will need to pay for the injuries depending on the state. If you are from a ‘no fault’ state then it is the plaintiff that is responsible for paying for treatment and compensation. This means that the plaintiff is unable to sue unless they also have more serious injuries that can be proven and are documented to be as a result of the accident. For this reason it is extremely important to have as much medical documentation proving the injury as possible.

There is usually a set amount that insurers will pay for each injury should the admit liability. It is usual practice to offer a settlement which the claimant can then accept or refuse. If it is refused then it will be taken to court. If the amount they win as a result of the court case works out to be less than the original settlement offer the insurance company might also be able to claim back their legal costs. This is where getting too greedy could end up costing you the majority if not all of your claim.

How it can be problematic to prove soft tissue injuries

Unlike breaking a leg or other injuries that require immediate medical attention and diagnostics soft tissue injuries are not always easy to prove. You may have bruises and cuts, but this will not be deemed as proof of the soft injury. They cannot be proved by use of medical diagnostic tools such as CT scans and X-rays, but this by no means is proof that the injury has not and will not affect the plaintiff’s day to day life in the short or long term.

The media has advertised people entering court with medical aids such as canes and neck braces that alone have helped them to win the case, and then gone off to remove the aids once leaving the building. The ease of being able to use aids for sympathy is highly exaggerated and will be questioned but all the same being able to physically see an injury is more likely to prove your claim is real.

Without hard proof the insurance companies are able to argue that the plaintiff is exaggerating their injuries, which is why medical treatment should be sought immediately after the incident. This will enable trained medical professionals to examine and make notes of the injuries sustained. Without medical proof there is no hard evidence and by the time the court case comes around it is your word over theirs. Medical records make for stronger evidence in court than word of mouth and if you do require medical aids they will be proof that they were prescribed not bought or borrowed for the purpose of sympathy in court.

How to receive compensation for soft injury claims

As mentioned earlier in this article the best chance that a plaintiff has of winning a claim is by providing hard evidence through medical documentation. This will also describe the symptoms and an estimated time of which they expect the plaintiff to suffer. It will prove the amount of time the doctor has advised them to be off work and of any medical aids that have been provided. In addition to this any return check-ups will also be noted and will stand as testament. In most cases the insurance company will want to avoid a court case so by showing proof you will be more likely to be offered a settlement out of court which is usually a faster process. For plaintiffs living in a state that is ‘no fault’ the worry of winning a trial is not important but proof of the injuries will still be so that you can cover expenses accrued as a result of the accident.

Expert witnesses may be required to testify should there be a high damages claim. This expert witness will need to say how they feel the injuries were caused in their professional opinion. Providing medical evidence will help to get the claim settled faster and give you a higher chance of winning. Without medical records and a visit to a medical professional it is likely the case will drag on and that the settlement will be a lot less than you are expecting.

Insurance companies usually have a settlement amount in mind but in cases where a company is not involved the defendant will be paying from their own pocket and more than likely trying to avoid paying more so that they can pay legal fees too.

If an insurance company refuses payment on the claim it is up to the plaintiff to sue the insurance company or defendant instead. This is where medical records could make a difference between the plaintiff winning or losing the case.

If you have been involved in a wreck and you continue to suffer pain in your body, you need to consult a lawyer to further understand your rights and arrange for you to get the necessary treatment for your injury.

3 Common Car Accident Cases

3 Most Common Car Accidents And The Attorneys You Need For Each Of Them

This is a wonderful and common sense article from Findlaw that broadly categorizes the 5 types of car accidents. I do not dispute viewing auto accidents in this manner and would suggest that doing so is also useful. Our commentary on the article will focus on three of those categories. You see, similar events will be associated with similar injuries and legal issues. This means that a lawyer with a proven success rate in one type of car accident case may be a better choice for handling your claim if your case falls within that lawyer's "niche".

Car Accident: Rear Ender

For example, the "Rear Ender" doesn't have to be a "car totaling" event and is often associated with "low impact collisions." This accident is simple one car failing to stop and bumping into the back of another. This can happen at yield intersections, highway on ramps or even on the roadway itself when someone falls to brake properly. These can be tricky cases because the client is claiming serious injuries but the car may not have any noticeable damage from the outside. Liability is often not the main legal issue in this case, rather it is the amount of damages to be awarded that is critical.  Having a lawyer with a successful track record litigating low impact collisions and soft tissue injuries would be important.  Now, let's look at the other categories of car accidents to see how a lawyer can help.

Car Accident: Single Shot

The "Single Shot" case is very problematic as there isn't always another driver to blame for the cause of the accident that you can look to for recovering the damages. Here, the driver looses control of his car and can end up in a ditch or impacting a tree. But, how did the accident happen?  If its driver's own negligence can anything be recovered?  Is there available medical and property damage riders on the driver's policy that can help pay medical and repair bills?  What if the accident was caused by a defect in the roadway?  In that case, you'll need a lawyer who is experienced in suing the state are arguing highway defects.  These can be challenging to litigate since so much planing and inspection go into modern roadway projects.  What happens if the accident was caused by a malfunction with the car itself that the driver could not over come such as brake failure or steering failure?  This may be a products defect case and, if so, you may need a lawyer seasoned in products liability and class action cases. Taking on Ford or Toyota isn't a job for your average lawyer.  You'll definitely need an attorney experienced with expensive and "high stakes" litigation.

Car Accident: T-Bone

The "T-Bone" is often the most serious kind of car accident. Here, you may have two cars traveling at full speed colliding with the force of impact bending metal and breaking bones.  Damages are often easily quantifiable: totaled value of the car, hospital bills, loss of work etc.  But, the amount of the award is often dependent upon who is at fault. Liability is the issue here. Did someone run a red light? Was someone speeding or driving recklessly?  A lawyer handling this case will need to be able to develop a case and attack an opponent's defense. The attorney will likely need accident reconstruction experts.


You can read the full article from findlay at the link below.

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Understanding The Surgical Options For You Back Injury

Surgical Procedures For Back Injuries

Back pain is very common and can be debilitating; whether minor or major, it can stop you in your tracks and keep you from enjoying a fully functioning lifestyle. This includes lost work time and the inability to enjoy time with family and friends. Left untreated, it can cause other issues. The following are statistics from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) on back pain.

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain.
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.

Although back pain can stem from back injuries due to a wide range of reasons, they are also the most common injury in car accidents. According to a website about car accidents, “The impact of a car accident and the resulting torque on the bodies of drivers and passengers can cause back injuries such as a sprain, strain, fracture, disc injury, thoracic spine injury, lumbar radiculopathy, and lumbar spine injury.” These injuries are serious because the back is such a large muscle, and plays such a vital role in the movement and support of the body; likely resulting in surgical procedures when conventional treatments such as physical therapy, injections, or acupuncture don’t work.

The goal of back surgery is to relieve or eliminate pain caused by the injury and have many benefits and risks. Benefits include better mood, better physical fitness, less need for pain medication, ability to return to work, and increased productivity at work. Not all patients respond well to back surgery, and the risks include: reaction to anesthesia or other drugs, bleeding, infection, blood clots, heart attack, stroke, recurrent dis herniation, and nerve damage. Nerve damage can result in weakness, paralysis, pain, sexual dysfunction, or loss of bowel or bladder control. The various options for surgical procedures are:

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is one of the most common type of back surgery. The vertebrae are fused together, restricting movement between the bones and nerves, which reduces or eliminates pain.


In this procedure, surgeons remove parts of the bone, bone spurs, or ligaments in the back, which relieves pressure on the spinal nerves that may be causing pain or weakness.


During this procedure, a surgeon will cut away bone at the sides of the vertebrae to widen the space where nerve roots exit the spine. The enlarged space is intended to relieve pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain relief.


The cushion that separates vertebrae in the spine can be shifted when injured. This puts pressure on the spinal nerves and cause pain. In this procedure, the surgeon removes all or part of the discs with a large or small incision from the outside of the body. This procedure compliments other surgeries.

Disc Replacement

The surgeon replaces damaged spinal discs with an artificial one between the vertebrae. This procedure has gained popularity as an alternative to spinal fusion, and permits continued motion of the spine; resulting in shorter recovery time than spinal fusion.

Epidural Injections

Although not considered a surgery, this alternative treatment is a steroid injection to help reduce swelling and pain. Often times, this is enough to relive the pain from injury, however, it’s usually the initial treatment and if it doesn’t work, surgery or other interventions may be needed.

Back pain is a real consequence of injury or car accidents no matter the circumstances or who is at fault. Because the back is at the core of the body, surgery is often needed to treat the injury and relieve the pain. Some surgeries result in structural changes of the spine and many require a recovery period. Some may require additional physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and overall functionality; and in some cases, one surgery may not be enough. Because the back is so large, the variables and responses vary by person and injury severity, so it is always important to seek and follow doctor advice.

Injuries Caused By Airbags

Injuries Commonly Caused By Air Bag Deployment


According to, airbags are designed to deploy in moderate or severe crashes in frontal or near frontal collisions. These are defined as hitting a fixed barrier at 8-14mph or more and/or striking a parked car of equal size to the barrier at 16 to 28mph. Airbags are intended to deploy to provide a cushion and prevent major injuries that would result from the driver or passenger hitting the dashboard at full force or being struck by a part of the car that intrudes enters the cabin as a result of the force from an accident.


According to The National Institute for Highway Safety, “NHTSA estimates that as of 2013, 39,886 lives have been saved by frontal airbags. In frontal crashes, frontal airbags reduce driver fatalities by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 30 percent. The fatality reduction in frontal crashes is larger for belted drivers (52 percent) compared to unbelted drivers (21 percent). NHTSA estimates that the combination of an airbag plus a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of death by 51 percent, compared with a 45 percent reduction for belts alone in frontal crashes.” Although airbags save lives and reduce risks of major injuries, they are not entirely safe.


As seen in the recent air bag recalls, airbags can also cause injuries. In some brands, deployed airbags had loose metal fragments that pierced through the airbag and injured drivers. This massive recall exposed the industry and no matter how advanced air bag technology is, there is still risk for injury; whether due to a company’s negligence in producing poor airbags or the nature of the crash and the impact with the airbag.


To understand potential injuries, it is important to understand that airbags work based of off sensors that detect trigger upon a sensed impact at a certain speed. This is important because one of the more common reasons airbag injuries occur is because the sensor malfunctions and the airbag does not deploy. This can lead to major head, neck, and upper body injuries that may include lacerations, fractures, broken bones, or brain trauma. The severity of the injury depends on the speed and nature of the accident. 


There are some minor injuries that airbags can cause too. These include abrasions or burns, and the chemicals released when it deploys can induce asthma attacks. Airbags have also been known to cause eye injuries, sometimes-severe if the bag hits someone in the eye. 


Unfortunately, airbags bags cannot always prevent death or result in minor injury.  If someone is leaning very close or against the steering wheel or dashboard at the moment that the airbag deploys the force of the deployment could cause serious injury and even death. The recommended distance drivers stay away from the steering wheel by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is at least 10 inches. Below is a more comprehensive list of possible airbag injuries. The type and severity depends on several factors including speed, closeness to the airbag, and nature of the collision:


  • Abrasion to the face, chest or upper extremities
  • Contusion of the face, chest, upper extremities, knees or internal organs
  • Strain, fracture or blunt trauma to the cervical spine
  • Burns on the chest, upper extremities or hands
  • Fracture or break in the face, upper extremities or wrists
  • Fracture in the skull or rib cage
  • Loss of consciousness or concussion injuries
  • Bruising or swelling of the brain
  • Laceration to the veins, arteries, heart, lungs or brain stem
  • Laceration to the liver or spleen
  • Compression of the brain or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Rupture inside the heart muscle
  • Eye injury such as rupture to the globe, retinal tear, corneal abrasion or conjunctivitis
  • Hearing loss or ear trauma
  • Trauma to the fetus of a pregnant women or puncture in the placenta
  • Internal bleeding
  • Wrist trauma and sprained fingers
  • Irritation in the throat, asthma attack or coughing
  • Irritation of the skin, also called airbag dermatitis


Airbags are a great safety addition to automobiles and can reduce the possibility of sever injuries and death. However, they can also malfunction, causing injury. Although the human body is amazing, it was not designed to withstand the impact of an automobile collision at any speed, so it is important to keep a safe distance from the steering column and ensure the airbag is not under a recall and has a working sensor. This ensures at the minimum the airbag is in the best condition to protect and not injure. 

Dealing With A Herniated Disc

Surgical Procedures Associated With A Herniated Disc 

herniated disc is painful and significantly impacts one’s quality of life, especially when it comes as a result of a motor vehicle accident or another person’s negligent act.  This is because the physiological effects of having to have a herniated disc procedure can be just as painful as the injury in question.  The best way to prepare for the physical and psychological recovery from the surgery is to know more about the injury, procedures used during the surgery and the recovery process.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine.”  Think of your spinal disc like a jelly donut that has s oft interior with a hard exterior.  When the soft “jelly” inside the discs pushes though the harder outside shell, you suffer a herniated or ruptured disk.

Because this happens in your spine, this is not an injury to take lightly.  The spine not only keeps us upright and from turning into blobs of jelly, but it allows for numerous important functions to occur throughout the body. A herniated disc can be present with no symptoms, and it may not need surgical intervention.  But, when it gets to the point of surgery, it is important to know what to expect.

The Most Common Symptoms of Herniated Disk

  • Arm or Leg Pain
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Weakness in You Extremities

If these symptoms are present, you will need surgery.  There are a number of different types of herniated disk surgeries that can require different methods based on the nature of your injury.  These surgeries are:

  • Open Discectomy (Most Common)
  • Endoscopic micro discectomy
  • Percutaneous discectomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminotomy

In general, the surgeries will remove the herniated portion (jelly) of the disk that has escaped the harder exterior and close the harder exterior.  The surgery is generally minimally invasive, however, with larger herniations, a different part of the spine may be removed to relive the pressure caused by the herniation.  To learn more, watch his video.

Embed this video here:

Recovering from a herniated disc procedure can take time and patience.  You may spend some time in the hospitalafter the procedure, but you will be up and walking right away.  In addition, you will be restricted in the amount of bending, twisting, and lifting you can do to avoid further disruption to healing.  Moreover, your doctor will want to see you shortly after the surgery.  Generally this is about a week or so post-operation to see your progress healing, and to remove any stitches or staples that may have been used.  You may get further instructions at that point.

In addition to your initial recovery in the hospital and seeing the doctor, you will want to be careful at home and in returning to work.  You will want to  to limit excessive movement at home, to let your body heal.  And you will want to discuss how long you should wait until returning to work with your doctor.  If you have a job that requires sitting, like a secretary, you may be out a couple of weeks.  But more strenuous or physically demanding jobs may take more time to return.  In addition, you may be on pain medications, which would take away your ability to drive a car. You must take this into consideration in attempting other tasks.  Safety and a good recovery is key.

Some Things You Can Do at Home

  • Move groceries, toiletries, and other supplies to places between the level of your hip and shoulder where you can reach them without bending over.
  • Make sure someone can drive you around for one to two weeks after surgery and to help with chores and errands.
  • Buy a pair of slip-on shoes with closed backs to make dressing easier and to minimize bending over.
  • Short frequent walks each day may reduce your pain as well as speed your recovery.

Along with home care, you may need physical therapy during your recovery process to work with flexibility, strengthening, and other aspects of furthering your healing to get you to 100%.  Again, this is something to discuss with your doctor.  Also consider speaking with a therapist if this was caused by a trauma, as it will help you work through the entire process from injury inception through recovery.  This website is a good resource to show you what to expect in recovery for each procedure.  Take the time to know what you have, what to expect during surgery and recovery, and to follow all instructions in order to experience a pain free life.