Annular tear injuries affect your spine and can leave you with significant neck, back, and/or leg pain. As our firm’s lead litigator and partner Tim Williams explains in the following video, it is highly recommended that you see a doctor following any auto accident or other serious accident in order to be treated or referred to a specialist who will diagnose and treat any of your spinal injuries. If you need assistance with your Oregon accident insurance settlement please contact Dwyer Williams Potter LLP for a free consultation at 541-617-0555.
Annular Tear Injuries and Serious Accidents:
In this video, Tim discusses annular tears, which are serious injuries that can result from auto accidents and other serious accidents.
The human spine is comprised of several bony layers called vertebrae, and between each pair of vertebrae is a disc. This intervertebral disc is comprised of a fibrous outer layer and a soft jelly-like interior. The outer layer has nerves running through it, so sometimes when there’s an inciting event, such as a rear-end collision or a fall on ice or a fall down stairs, the disk will crack, much like when the skin on your finger gets cut. Just as your finger hurts when the skin on your finger is cut, your disc will hurt when its outer layer gets cracked.
The kind of crack that we just described is called an annular fissure or annular tear because the intervertebral disc’s outer layer is called the annulus. Sometimes annular tears become very serious. This is true when the annulus’ cracks occur near the nerves, for instance. If the crack occurs near a nerve and some of the disc’s jelly-like interior leaks out and touches the nerve, it will cause severe nerve irritation including adjacent nerves that affect other parts of the body. Your brain often interprets spinal nerve irritation via different parts of your body for this reason. For example, sometimes your brain feels left leg pain, but in reality it only feels nerve irritation from the root nerve in your spinal cord. Annular tears can be very painful, though they are not usually serious. Treatment options include medication, injections, and even surgery, however, surgeries are rarely undertaken.
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