Understanding the Need for Lumbar Fusion Surgery Following a Car Crash

Often, rear-end car accidents or head-on crashes in Southern California can leave a driver or passenger with serious injuries, including back and neck pain, nerve damage, herniated disc, fractured vertebrae, injured lumbar vertebrae, and spinal cord injury, among others.

You need to seek medical care immediately following an Orange County car crash. The impact of a car accident can move muscles, tissues, and bones out of alignment and affect your spine. If this occurs, you will most likely experience pain. However, if you have an injured spine or fractured vertebrae, fractured,then immense pain may follow. If you have pain in your lower back, fractured vertebrae, or have herniations in your lumbar spine, then you may andneed surgery.

The five vertebrae in your lower back are known as the lumbar vertebrae, and car accidents in Southern California can injure this part of the back due to the force of impact. If the crash is strong enough, it can force a person’s lumbar disc out of its normal position. This may cause severe back pain, leg pain, weakness in the legs, numbness, and tingling, as the bones are left to grind against each other and rub against the spinal nerves.

If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, then you should see a spinal doctor. Different types of treatment and surgeries are available, depending on your condition. If you suffer from constant and severe pain in your lower back,stant and severe, then you may need spinal fusion or lumbar fusion surgery.

What is lumbar fusion?

Lumbar fusion is a type of spinal fusion surgery in which a doctor takes two lumbar vertebrae and fuses them together in order to stabilize the area and prevent motion in the spine. A successful surgery stops abnormal movement in the spine and restores the spinal nerves.

Lumbar spinal fusion often gets suggested after other methods of treatment have been explored. In this surgery, the surgeon removes the injured disc and any bone spurs in that area, which may be aggravating the spinal cord. He replaces the disc with a bone graft that he inserts between the two vertebrae, which is often held in place with metal plates and screws until the bones fuse together. The fused vertebrae make one larger bone to stabilize the spine.

Risks and Downfalls

As with every surgery, there are potential complications and risks. The possible problems you could encounter following lumbar fusion surgery include:

  • Pain may not be completely gone – hance that tThe lumbar fusion surgery may not take away 100% of your pain.
  • Slow healing process – Patients of this type of surgery typically do not fully heal for six to eight months or more.
  • Fusion may not heal solidly – People who have medical problems, smoke, or are overweight may have a higher risk of failed fusion.
  • Chance for infection – Any time skin is opened and surgery is performed, there is a chance for infection.
  • Damage to the tissues – Where the work is performed, there is a risk that nerve damage will occur, which can cause numbness, pain, or weakness in that area.
  • Medical complications – The surgery requires the use of anesthesia. Although rare, anesthesia has been known to increase the chances of pneumonia, stroke, heart problems, and even death.

Sometimes an injured lumbar disc can lead to the need for lumbar fusion surgery. If you have been a victim of a Southern California car crash and have suffered injury to your lower back, then you should contact an experienced Orange County personal injury attorney to find out if you have a legal case. You may need compensation for medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, and more. Contact the Law Office of John P. Burns at (877) 320-1338 to get answers to your legal questions from a knowledgeable O.C. accident attorney. Make sure to visit our website to request a FREE copy of John Burns’s book, 9 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Vehicle Accident Case.

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