A workers compensation lumbar disc herniation is a serious workers comp injury not to be taken lightly.
The human spine is formed by 24 spinal bones, called vertebrae. Vertebrae are stacked on top of one another to form the spinal column. In the lower back its known as the lumbar spine. Doctors often refer to these vertebrae as L1 to L5. Intervertebral discs separate the vertebrae. Imagine a jelly doughnut. The discs are made of connective tissue. Connective tissue is the material that holds the living cells of the body together. These fibers help the disc withstand tension and pressure.
A disc is made of two parts. The center, called the nucleus, is spongy. It provides most of the disc’s ability to absorb shock. The nucleus is held in place by the annulus, a series of strong ligament rings surrounding it. Healthy discs work like shock absorbers to cushion the spine. They protect the spine against the daily pull of gravity. They also protect it during strenuous activities that put strong force on the spine, such as jumping, running, and lifting.
What causes a work-related lumbar disc herniation?
A lumbar disc can become herniated during an acute (sudden) injury. Lifting with the body bent forward and twisted can cause a disc herniation. A disc can also herniate from a heavy impact on the spine, such as falling from a ladder and landing in a sitting position. The nucleus in the center spurts out like jelly from the doughnut.
Herniation occurs when the nucleus in the center of the disc pushes out of its normal space. The nucleus presses against the annulus, causing the disc to bulge outward. Sometimes the nucleus herniates completely through the annulus and squeezes out of the disc.
Although daily activities may cause the nucleus to press against the annulus, the body is normally able to withstand this pressure. However, as the annulus ages, it tends to crack and tear. It is repaired with scar tissue. This process is known as degeneration. Over time, the annulus weakens, and the nucleus may begin to herniate (squeeze) through the damaged annulus. Vigorous, repetitive bending, twisting, and lifting can place abnormal pressure on the shock-absorbing nucleus of the disc. If great enough, this increased pressure can injure the annulus, leading to herniation.
In workers compensation lumbar disc herniation cases McCormick Law attorneys get the best workers compensation settlements for lumbar herniated discs when the medical records and doctors opinions support the injury being work-related. It is important the records are consistent with trustworthy and honest documentation of the facts. Experience with back injuries and knowing the experts and surgeons leads to successful results.