Many cases of spine injury can be remedied by conservative treatments such as therapy and chiropractic. However, other spine injuries can be so severe that they require surgical procedures. Spinal fusion is one such surgery, and many consider it a last-ditch option.
Spinal fusion permanently “welds” or connects certain bones that make up the human spine. This is done to improve the spine’s stability, correct a deformity, or reduce back pain. It is a major invasive procedure, costing tens of thousands of dollars and typically requiring some amount of rehabilitation afterwards. Because of this, patients who undergo this surgery are saddled with financial – and even emotional – burdens.
If the spine injury was a result of someone else’s negligence, it can be truly worth it for the injured patient to seek legal options to ensure they are justly and fully compensated. Claiming monetary compensation can provide great financial relief, and achieving justice can be an important step in emotional healing.
How Spinal Fusion Is Done
The human spine is composed of small bones called the spinal vertebra, which are stacked to form the spinal column. With spinal fusion, two or more vertebra are permanently connected or “welded”, eliminating motion between them.
The procedure tries to get the vertebra to mimic the natural healing process of broken bones. The doctor places a piece of real bone or bonelike material in the space between the two vertebra, then uses metal plates, rods, and screws to hold all these together and force them to “heal” as one solid unit.
The bone that is inserted can come from a bone bank, or it could be a graft – a piece of bone taken from another part of the patient’s body. Bone grafts are usually taken from the pelvis or hip bone. If a graft is needed for spinal fusion, it requires a different surgical operation to make an incision for the bone graft.
Injuries Requiring Spinal Fusion
Various conditions of the spine may need to be treated with vertebral fusion. However, doctors do not easily recommend this procedure. They would consider it only when the injury is serious and the patient is experiencing severe pain or disability. Injuries that may lead to this include:
- Broken vertebra
- Weak or unstable spine
- Deformed spine – deformities include scoliosis and kyphosis
- Herniated disc – also called a slipped disc, this is the damage to the soft tissue cushioning between the vertebrae
- Spondylolisthesis – a disorder where one vertebra slips forward onto the bone below it.
Some of these injuries can be caused by a traumatic blow to the back. This can happen in circumstances such as car accidents, workplace accidents, slips and falls, and incidents of violence.
Some can also result from great or repetitive stress to the spine. This may be from incorrect lifting, improper exercising, repetitive strain at work, and the like.
Ohio Spinal Fusion Injury Claims
The spinal fusion procedure – and its aftermath – can be very costly. The surgery is expensive by itself: a report shows that a single-level spinal fusion can cost anywhere from $11,000 to $37,000 – and some patients require multiple levels of this.
In addition, recovery is required post-surgery, and this can mean weeks or even months of missed work, plus therapy and rehabilitation. Further, the fusion immobilizes part of the spine, forcing some patients to completely change careers or quit their jobs.
For an injured person who has had to undergo spinal fusion because of someone else’s negligence, it is only right to seek compensation. However, many end up getting much less than they deserve. The claims process is a complicated legal maze, discouraging many victims from pursuing it further. Insurance companies are also prepared to undermine injury claims or even completely deny them.
A victim’s best chance of obtaining rightful compensation is by enlisting an attorney who is experienced in complex injury cases like this and is unafraid of standing up against large insurers.
Trusted Ohio Spinal Fusion Lawyer
For over 30 years now, the Fitch Law Firm has been providing reliable legal services to injury victims in Ohio. Hundreds of clients have trusted the firm not only for its skilled and relentless legal representation, but also for the commitment it gives to each client. The firm competently handles each case so that the client can focus on healing and getting back on track.
The Fitch Law Firm provides free initial consultation. Call (855) LAW-OHIO today or use the free consultation form on this page.