If you suffered a work injury such as a cervical spine injury and live or work in the Sacramento area, contact Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney Alice A. Strömbom today for a free case evaluation. She is one of Sacramento’s leading work injury attorneys and works exclusively with injured workers and protects worker’s rights to compensation.
Cervical Spine Injuries
The cervical spine is the top portion of your spine in the area of the neck. It’s a complex structure consisting of bone, discs, nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments. A cervical spine injury might result in surgery, rehabilitation and months away from work. If you suffer any type of a cervical spine injury at work, you’ll want to notify your employer of the injury right away. Your employer can then refer the matter over to its insurer, and the insurer will make a decision on whether to cover or your claim or deny it. Some common causes of cervical spine injuries include slipping or tripping, being hit by a falling object and repetitive motion.
An injury to the cervical spine can have a wide variety of symptoms. They might not be immediate either. A victim might not experience them until several hours or even days after the injury. Those symptoms can include the following:
- Neck pain, muscle spasms and loss of range of motion.
- Headache and dizziness or blurred vision.
- Numbness or tingling in the arms and hands.
- Arm and hand weakness.
The most severe cervical spine injuries can even result in partial paralysis, quadriplegia or death.
Diagnosing Cervical Spine Injuries
When a person first sees a doctor about a neck injury, a physical examination will be performed. The purpose of that exam is to determine whether the individual’s problems are coming from the neck or some other part of the body. X-rays will probably be taken for purposes of ruling out a fracture. A CT scan might also be ordered for this purpose. If the doctor suspects cervical disc involvement, magnetic resonance images might be helpful in showing it. A treatment plan can then be formulated.
Most doctors will start treating a cervical spine injury with conservative treatment. Common conservative treatment might consist of anti-inflammatory medications along with physical therapy. If there’s no improvement, and pain and discomfort persist, surgery might be required, especially if there is nerve root impingement from a herniated disc.
Discs act like shock absorbers between the spine’s vertebrae. Each disc has an outer band with a jelly-like substance inside of it. When the disc’s outer band breaks, the inside of the disc leaks out and impinges on nerve roots. Once a disc is herniated, it’s always herniated. Nerve root impingement can cause severe pain and discomfort, and it can only be remedied by surgery.
Neck surgery and rehabilitation are often contested by workers’ compensation insurance companies. Insurance companies don’t like paying for them due to their cost. The insurer’s objective is to keep healing periods short without the need for surgery. If you’re not properly treated, your condition can deteriorate, and you could end up with permanent pain and impairment. To get the treatment that the law entitles you to, you’ll need an experienced and effective California workers’ compensation lawyer on your side of the case.
Contact a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A serious neck injury can adversely affect every aspect of a victim’s life. Even the simplest of tasks can suddenly become painfully difficult. It might seem easier to settle your claim in order to get the tedious process over with, but if your condition worsens, further workers’ compensation benefits for the same injury are closed. We’re persistent and aggressive in pursuing the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve.