Can I Get Spondylolisthesis From a Georgia Car Accident?

Last updated Thursday, September 28th, 2023

Could My Spondylolisthesis Have Been Caused by My Car Accident?

Have you been injured in a car accident and have recently been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis? You may question if this ailment came from the auto accident, and the short answer is, yes. It is possible to get Spondylolisthesis from a car accident. Spondylolisthesis happens when your vertebrae are forced out of place by a traumatic impact, and move either forward or backward. This type of injury can certainly be caused by a car accident. Our previous clients have described the pain from this condition to be excruciating.

If you are suffering back pain from a car accident, it would be wise to see a doctor as soon as possible to make sure your injuries are documented. The only way to diagnose spondylolisthesis is by getting checked out by a doctor and getting an MRI. A serious injury like this can have complications, and speaking to an attorney to make sure your claim is protected is crucial.

What Are The Most Common Causes of Spondylolisthesis?

Causes of Spondylolisthesis include:

  • Trauma – Such as an injury from a car accident.
  • Degenerative – Progressive, often irreversible deterioration.
  • Tumors – Certain types of tumors have been linked to Spondylolisthesis.
  • Congenital Disabilities – Some people are born with issues that can cause this condition.

What Kind of Exams and Tests Exist for Spondylolisthesis?

It can be hard to tell if you have Spondylolisthesis because you may not have any side effects or pain, as many people don’t. X-rays are the best way to diagnose Spondylolisthesis. Further evidence of Spondylolisthesis may require a CT scan.

If the slipped vertebra is compressing nerves, the physician may request a myelogram. During this examination, the area will be numbed, and you’ll have a special dye injected near your nerves. Then you’ll have an x-ray or a CT scan, which will provide a complete anatomic picture of the bones in your spine. This image will assist your physician in identifying abnormalities.

Part of your appointment with the doctor will involve physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will examine your posture, range of motion, and physical health, noting any movement that causes you pain. Your physician will feel your spine, note its curve and alignment, and feel for muscle spasms. The doctor may need to watch you walk because Spondylolisthesis can also cause you to walk abnormally.

During the neurological test, your spine specialist will examine your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain. The physical and neurological exams will give your doctor a picture of how the slipped vertebra is affecting your body and life.

Are There Different Types of Vertebra Slips?

Using the lateral x-ray, your physician will rank your Spondylolisthesis. He or she will use the grade I through grade V scale that represents how far forward your vertebra has slipped.

  • Grade I is a less than 25% slip.
  • Grade II is a 25% to 49% slip.
  • Grade III is a 50% to 74% slip.
  • Grade IV is a 75% to 99% slip.
  • Grade V is for a vertebra that has slipped off of the vertebra below it. (An extreme case of Spondylolisthesis, called Spondyloptosis.)

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How Can Spondylolisthesis Be Treated?

Spondylolisthesis treatment depends on various circumstances, such as:

  • The Age and health of the individual
  • The extent of the slip
  • The severity of the symptoms

Treatment most often is conventional, requiring rest, medicine, and exercise. Critical spondylolisthesis may require surgery.

  • Conventional treatment: The patient should take a rest from stringent activities until the pain subsides. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended to decrease pain and swelling. More potent medications may be prescribed if NSAIDs do not provide comfort. Another Option is epidural steroid injections, in which medicine is placed directly in the space surrounding the spine. This can also help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Physical therapy: Stabilization activities are the pillar of treatment. These exercises stimulate the abdominal and back muscles, minimizing the bony movement of the spine. Commonly, 8 to 12 weeks of vigorous daily treatment with stabilization exercises are required to accomplish clinical recovery.
  • Surgery: Surgery could be required if the vertebra continues to slip or if conventional treatments do not alleviate the pain. The main intentions of operation for spondylolisthesis are to relieve the pain linked to an irritated nerve, to stabilize the spine where the vertebra has slipped out of position, and to improve the person’s capability to function.
  • The second method, called spinal fusion, is implemented to provide stability. In a fusion, a piece of bone is transplanted to the back of the spine. As the bone heals, it fuses with the spine — forming a solid part of bone — saving the spine from moving, and stabilizing it. In some situations, devices such as rods or screws are used to hold the vertebra firm as the fusion heals.

What Complications are Associated With Spondylolisthesis?

Persistent pain linked with spondylolisthesis can lead to decreased mobility and inactivity. This inactivity can result in weight gain and loss of bone mass, muscle strength, and flexibility in other areas of the body. There is also a risk of permanent nerve injury if a slipped vertebra is compressing a spinal nerve root.

Do I Need A Lawyer If I Have Spondylolisthesis From an Accident?

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you deserve compensation from the negligent party. The opposing insurance company may not want to pay for all your medical needs or may even try to downplay your injuries to minimize your compensation. Don’t let this happen to you. Hire an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible to get the law on your side. You do not have to deal with the insurance company alone – injury claims can get very complicated, and Murphy Law Firm has an entire team ready to examine and fight for your case. Call us now at 770.577.3020. We are currently offering FREE consultations.

Video Transcript:

“You know, over the years we’ve represented people with different types of back injuries. We’ve had a number of clients that have had a specific diagnosis with something called spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis is basically the slippage of vertebrae. When the vertebrae slip forward, doctors call this anterolisthesis. When the vertebrae slip backward, this is known as retrolisthesis. There are three known main causes of this type of injury. Some people are just born with it. Others can have it brought on by trauma, through a fall, or sometimes a car accident. Sometimes it can just be brought on by degenerative means or just aging over time.

The only way to know if you have this condition is through a study such as an X-ray or MRI. Once a doctor sees what’s going on and diagnoses you with it, he can properly treat you for this type of injury. There are various grades of spondylolisthesis. Doctors often grade it: grade 1, grade 2, 3, or 4. Generally, the higher the number, the more serious the condition is.

If you’re suffering from back pain from a car accident or work injury, it’s wise to get checked out right away to see if you may have this condition. You may want to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your legal rights and options and how to protect yourself in the event you’ve been in a car accident that was not your fault. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 770-577-3020.

*This video is not legal advice. Quality legal advice can only be given by an attorney who has consulted with you and knows the specifics of your unique case. James Murphy is not your attorney until you and he both sign a contract stating that he is your attorney. Call for a free consultation today.

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