Suffering a herniated disc from falling is one of the many possible ways of hurting an intervertebral disc due to direct trauma. While this type of accidental disc injury occurs often due to sudden and substantial pressure upon the spinal structures, many herniated discs which are blamed on acute trauma have actually existed for many years and are not diagnosed until the incident brings the person to a hospital or doctor for a full check up and diagnostic testing.
When you consider the legal ramifications of a slip and fall, the patient is likely to get swept up in a battle for money which actually might increase their chances of suffering permanent disability compared to patients who do not pursue legal recourse.
This article will provide an in-depth look at how and why falling can enact disc injury. We will also investigate how the process of civil litigation can complicate recovery efforts for many patients.
Injured Herniated Disc from Falling
Falling from a height or landing in a bad way can cause a great number of injuries to the spine and elsewhere. The body can only absorb so much force without damage to the anatomical components and intervertebral discs are typically the first structure in the spinal column to buckle under traumatic pressure.
It is possible to suffer bulging or ruptured discs from serious spinal trauma and these injuries are likely to be very painful when they first occur. However, this is not always the case. Many people damage their spines and do not even realize it, since there is no substantial pain and these herniated discs might go undiscovered for many years in some patients. Additionally, it is crucial to remember that pain is likely from any fall, even if a herniation is not present.
In essence, trauma itself hurts in almost every instance, but herniations themselves are not inherently painful, but may be under certain strictly defined circumstances.
Perceived Herniated Disc from Falling
On the other hand, when a person is hurt, regardless of whether there is significant injury or not, they will typically go to a doctor. If a care provider suspects injury from the fall, they will order diagnostic testing, such as x-rays or MRI imaging. These tests will often show herniated discs, since disc pathologies are commonplace.
At this stage a common question develops: Did the herniation occur from the injury or not? In many cases, the answer is definitely yes, since previous identical diagnostic testing did not demonstrate any evidence of herniations at the same vertebral level. In other cases, the answer is not so certain.
Many diagnosed injuries have actually existed for months, years or even decades prior to the suspected time of occurrence, but were simply never diagnosed, since most herniated discs do not cause pain. In many of these cases, there is obvious degenerative activity around the herniations, marking them as being quite old. However, as a former trial preparation investigator, I have heard these explained away as pre-existing spinal aging, which is normal.
Here is the conundrum. The degeneration is old, but the herniated disc is obviously from the fall. Obviously? Says who? Why can some disc degeneration be present prior to the accident, but not the herniation? Especially if it is already extruded and partially calcified?
This is yet another instance of crooked lawyers teaming up with opportunistic doctors to make money at the expense of all involved. It is sad. Remember, we all pay when anyone gets sued. Insurance premiums, government taxes to cover legal infrastructure and other factors should make most people think twice before assuming any perceived injury resulted from a particular perceived injurious event.
When money is involved, people obviously lose their better judgement.
Fall-Related Traumatic Herniated Discs
My point here is simple. The herniation may or may not have occurred from the fall. It is truly impossible to tell without previous imaging studies, and even when they exist, the evidence may still be speculative, depending on the time lapse in between.
Additionally, minus the litigation settlement value of a herniated disc, it is best to get past the diagnosis and learn the facts about how many disc conditions are completely not the source of any chronic pain. They may hurt when fresh, but that pain is likely to fade in 2 to 8 weeks, unless you get caught up in the nocebo trap and wind up with a serious chronic health condition.
Trust me; this is not worth it for any money you may receive in court. Do not buy into the mythologies. If the herniation is typical, it is not a concern. If in fact, it is a real pain producer, as a small percentage are, then do everything possible to overcome the physical structural issues first and deal with the litigation later.
Keep this in mind if you are the victim of a slip and fall leading to actual or perceived back injury. A perceptual herniated disc from falling may just be a herniated disc which has been there all along.