BenGlassLaw’s Injury Treatment Directory
Some Common Car Accident Injuries We See
Table of Contents
- Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
- Knee Surgery
- Lumbar Fusion Surgery
- Rotator Cuff Surgery
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ANTERIOR CERVICAL DISCECTOMY AND FUSION
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), is a neck surgery that involves treating spinal cord compression by removing a damaged disc to relieve a spinal cord or nerve root pressure. An incision is made in the throat area to remove the damaged disc. ACDF is an optional surgery if physical therapy or medications fail to relieve the neck pain.
Discectomy is the cutting of the damaged disc, it can be performed along the spine from the neck to the low back. The surgeon can reach the damaged disc from the anterior (front) part of the spine through the throat area, the surgery is done from the front part because it is more accessible than from the posterior (back) to avoid disturbing the spinal cord, strong neck muscles, and spinal nerves. Depending on the symptoms of the patient, one disc or more may be removed.
After removing the disc, the space between the bony vertebrae is completely empty, a spacer bone graft is inserted to prevent the vertebrae from collapsing or rubbing together, spacer bone graft serves as a spinal fusion, it bridges the two vertebrae. Metal plates and screws are used to fix in place the bone graft and vertebrae. New bone cells eventually grow around the graft after the surgery, between 3 to 6 months, the bone graft should join the two vertebrae and form one solid piece of bone.
Step 1: Preparation of the patient.
The patient will down on the back on the operative table then he/she will be given anesthesia, once the patient is asleep, the neck area is cleansed and prepped, if the patient doesn’t have a donor’s bone, the hip area is also prepped to obtain a bone graft if fusion is planned on your own bone.
Step 2: Making the incision.
A 2-inch incision is made on the right or the left side of the neck, the surgeon then moves aside the muscles in the neck and retracts the trachea, esophagus, and arteries to make a tunnel, then the muscles supporting the front area of the spine are lifted and held aside so that the surgeon can see the bony vertebrae and the disc.
Step 3: Locating the damaged disc.
The surgeon passes a thin needle with the help of a special x-ray (fluoroscope) to the disc to locate the affected vertebrae and disc, using a special retractor, the vertebrae bones above and below the damaged disc are spread apart.
Step 4: Removal of the disc.
The surgeon cuts the outer wall of the disc then removes about 2/3 of the patient’s disc using small grasping tools then using a surgical microscope, removes the rest of the disc, to reach the spinal canal, the ligament running behind the vertebrae is removed, any disc material pressing on the spinal nerves are also removed.
Step 5: Decompressing the nerve.
The surgeon removes the bone spurs that presses on the nerve root, the foramen, through which the spinal nerve exits is enlarged with a drill.
Step 6: Preparation of bone graft fusion.
By the use of a drill, the open disc is then prepared on the top and bottom by removing the outer cortical layer of bone to expose the blood-rich cancellous bone inside.
Step 7: Closing the incision.
The surgeon removes the spreader retractors, the muscle and skin incisions are then sutured together. Biological glue or sterile strips are placed across the incision.
Knee surgery is needed when your knee has structural damage or knee pain that has not responded to other methods of pain relief for structural damage such as osteoarthritis.
Common Types of Knee Surgery
Arthroscopy-It is a surgical procedure performed to repair different types of knee problems or knee replacement. The surgeon inserts a probe with a tiny camera called an arthroscope, into the knee joint, the scope then displays the pictures of the knee joint on the video monitor to guide the surgeon. the surgical equipment is then inserted into the knee joint through a second incision.
Arthroscopy procedures for the knee;
- The surgeon removes or repairs a torn meniscus (type of cartilage in the knee that cushions and stabilizes the joint)
- The surgeon can reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ligament that stabilizes the knee joint.
- The surgeon can remove inflamed synovial (connective) tissue
- The surgeon can trim the damaged articular cartilage.
- The surgeon can remove loose fragments of bone or cartilage.
- The surgeon can treat patella (knee cap) problems.
- The surgeon can treat sepsis (infection).
- The surgeon can remove a Baker’s cyst.
Before the knee surgery, the doctor will give you an anesthetic, this anesthetic may be;
- Local (it makes the knee numb)
- Regional (numbs from your waist down)
- General (puts you to sleep)
The surgeon will then begin to make some incisions or cuts in your knee, then he will use sterile saltwater or saline then pump in to expand your knee joint, then an arthroscope is inserted into one of the cuts and then the surgeon will look around your knee joint using the camera, the images will appear on the monitor in the operating room, when the surgeon locates where the problem is, a small tool is then inserted to correct the tissue, after the surgery, the saline is drained from the joint and the surgeon will close the cuts with stitches.
ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY
Rotator cuff surgery is used to mend a torn rotator cuff, it involves reattachment of tendons to the head of the humerus (upper arm). Debridement is the procedure that involves trimming or smoothing a partial tear, a completely torn tendon may require stitching the torn tendon back to its original site on the upper arm bone.
Surgery can be an option for a torn rotator cuff if pain persists with non-surgical methods, it also applies to one who uses their arms for overhead work or sports.
Some of the symptoms that require rotator cuff surgery include;
- Symptoms have lasted for over 6 months
- You have more than 3 cm tear and the quality of the surrounding tendon is good.
- You have a lot of weakness and your shoulder is not functioning.
- Your tear was caused by a recent acute injury.
Common Types of Rotator Cuff Surgery
Arthroscopic repair. One or two small cuts are down in your skin, then the surgeon will insert a very small camera called an arthroscope to let the surgeon see the parts of the rotator cuff that are damaged and how best to treat them.
Open tendon repair. This type of surgery has been used over a long period of time, it was the first technique used to repair a damaged rotator cuff. It is used for a patient who has a very large or complex tear.
The surgeon performs a large incision in the shoulder then the shoulder muscle is detached to allow the surgeon to have direct access to the tendon, it helps if the tendon or shoulder joint requires replacement.
All the procedures need general anesthesia which allows the patient to sleep during the entire process. Though they can also be done with a regional block which allows the patient’s shoulder and arm to stay numb while the patient is awake.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually caused by a blow to the head, violently shaking of the head and upper body also causes concussions, effects of concussion are usually temporary but can include headaches and poor concentration, memory, balance, and coordination.
Symptoms of concussion can be subtle and do not show up immediately, common symptoms are headaches, loss of memory, and confusion.
Physical signs include
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurry vision
The doctor may also look into these signs in a concussed person;
- Loss of consciousness (though it really occurs)
- Slurred speech
- Delays to respond to questions
- Dazed appearance
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Disorder of taste and smell.
The doctor will begin to question you about the symptoms or if you had an injury, you are required to answer how it happened, then the doctor will perform physical examinations to determine the symptoms you are having.
In the case where there are serious symptoms, the doctor may request for an MRI or a CT scan of your brain to check the injuries, the doctor may perform an electroencephalogram in the case of a seizure that monitors brain waves.
A special eye test is used by doctors sometimes to look for concussions, it is commonly used by a certified athletic trainer, and it is conducted to see if any visual changes are related to concussion.
Most concussions do not require surgery, if it is causing headaches, the doctor will recommend using pain relievers such as ibuprofen, you may also be asked by the doctor to avoid sports and activities that may cause concussions such as strenuous activities, avoid driving and get plenty of rest.
LUMBAR FUSION SURGERY
Lumbar fusion surgery is a neurosurgical or orthopedic surgery that joins two or more vertebrae, this surgical procedure can be done at any level in the spine and prevents any movements between the fused vertebrae. It is designed to cease the movement at a painful vertebrae segment which in turn should reduce the pain that is generated from the joint.
Some of the approaches to lumbar fusion surgery involves the following;
- Bone can be added to a segment of the spine
- The surgeon can set up a biological response that causes the bone graft to grow between two vertebral elements to create a bone fusion.
- The surgeon can perform a bony fusion whereby one fixed bone replaces a mobile joint, which stops the motion at that joint segment.
If the patient experiences abnormal or excessive movement at a vertebral segment which causes severe pain and inability to function, the lumbar fusion may be considered; lumbar degenerative disc disease, lumbar spondylolisthesis.
Sometimes a patient may experience a weak or unstable spine, fractures, scoliosis, or deformity lumbar spinal surgery may be used to treat the patient.
Here’s Why You Should Work With BenGlassLaw on Your Accident Claim
- Your life was disrupted because someone else was careless. Now the insurance company is stopping you from moving forward because the adjuster doesn’t believe you or your doctors.
- We’ve been doing this as BenGlassLaw since 1995 and Ben Glass started representing people like you in 1983.
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