By: Whalen Hersh
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What is a Spinal Fusion Following a Car Accident?
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) nearly 1.25 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day, and an additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled. Many of these devastating injuries are neck and back injuries, and some cause damage serious enough to require spinal fusion after a car accident.
What is a spinal fusion?
Spinal fusion, also called spondylosis or spondylosyndesis, is a neurosurgical or orthopedic surgical technique that joins two or more vertebrae. This procedure can be performed at any level in the spine and prevents any movement between the fused vertebrae. This surgery involves implementing techniques designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones. During spinal fusion, your surgeon places bone or a bonelike material within the space between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae together, so they can heal into one solid unit.
What can someone expect during the process?
Your doctor will order imaging studies of your spine prior to your surgery and use these images to plan and guide your surgery. Spinal fusion surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so the patient is unconscious during the procedure. There are a variety of techniques for performing spinal fusion surgery. The surgery may take anywhere from two to seven hours or more, depending on the location and severity of your injury.
Spinal fusion surgery generally involves a surgical incision to allow the surgeon to gain access to the area to be fused, bone graft preparation to access bone grafts that actually fuse the vertebrae together (these may come from a bone bank or from your own body), and the fusion procedure. If your own bone is used, the surgeon will remove a small portion of pelvic bone and then close the incision. To permanently fuse the vertebrae together, the bone graft material is placed between the vertebrae. In some cases, surgeons may use a synthetic substance instead of bone grafts. These substances help promote bone growth and speed up the fusion of the vertebrae. Metal plates, screws or rods may be used to help hold the vertebrae together while the bone graft heals.
What does recovery time look like?
A short hospital stay of two to three days is usually required after spinal fusion surgery. Pain is usually well controlled with medication. It could take several months for the bones to heal and fuse. During this time, you may need to wear a brace to keep your spine correctly aligned. You may or may not be confined to bed rest by your doctor during recovery. However, you may require extended physical therapy. While most patients experience a beneficial outcome and recovery that can allow then to resume normal quality of life and return to pre-accident function, this could affect your ability to work and provide for your family depending on what you do for a job and career. That’s why it’s imperative that you secure the best legal representation possible.
Past Case Results
Whalen Hersh is proud to be one of America’s Top 100 Attorneys, 5280 Top Attorneys in Colorado, Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and Super Lawyers. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and suffered injury requiring spinal fusion, contact our firm of experienced personal injury lawyers in Denver and Colorado Springs for proper legal representation. We have successfully represented many car accident victims over the years, winning millions in personal injury case settlements. Our personal injury attorneys are not afraid to take on the large insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation confidential consultation to discuss all your legal options.
You can reach our Denver attorneys at (720) 307-2666. Our offices are located in the Denver Tech Center at 7955 East Arapahoe Court, Suite 2375, Centennial, CO 80112, and our Colorado Springs office is in the Alamo Corporate Center, conveniently located at 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100, (719) 644-7000. We look forward to working with you.