Herniated disk at C5-6
I have a herniated disk at C5-6: Did you know that most adults have 24 separate discs, and that these disks are placed in 3 distinct categories: cervical (neck); thoracic (upper back) and lumbar (lower back). Unless you work in the medical field, there really isn’t any reason why you should know this; but at Powell and Denny work injuries are what we handle, and through the years we have had to learn more and more about spinal injuries so we can represent our clients to the best of our ability.
Through the years we have learned that the majority of herniated disks are suffered in the lower lumbar area (L4-5 or L5-S1); the second most common type of herniation is at the C5-6 level or C6-7. While neck injuries generally do better after surgery, they present problems that a herniated lumbar disc does not pose. Injuries to the C5-6 or C6-7 typically have symptoms of pain located at the back of the skull, neck, shoulder or shoulder blade region.
Through the years we have had situations arise where a client was hurt at work, but since their pain was primarily in the shoulder and shoulder blade region, the doctors looked for a rotator cuff tear. When one was not found, the doctor often released the injured worker. This can be a big mistake as the pain could be coming from a cervical injury. The same has happened in reverse; a worker complained of neck and should pain, and the doctors fixated on a neck injury, only later to discover that the culprit was a torn rotator cuff.
A herniated disk refers to the situation where the cushions (disc) between the bones (vertebrae) of your spinal cord, or the vertebrae themselves, are damaged due to injury or disease, causing the disc to be squeezed out from beneath the vertebras. Many people have herniated disks, but do not experience any symptoms (they are asymptomatic), this is because the extruded disc material has not yet come into contact with the nerves running down your spine. When the disc contacts a nerve, pain ensues. Depending on what level your herniation is located (cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine), pain can run down your right or left arm, right or left leg, can affect your hands, feet, fingers, toes and can cause numbness as well.
If you have suffered a herniated disc as the result of a job injury, conservative treatment will most likely be attempted at first, as sometimes the disc will right itself; but for those with a more serious herniation, surgery is typically what will be needed. Given your age, education and the work you have done over your life, you may be able to return to work following surgery (although maybe not in the field you were performing prior to your back injury) or you may not. Regardless, it would probably be in your best interest to at least speak with a knowledgeable workers comp attorney to review your case.
If you live or work in Alabama+, you suffered a job injury and you have any questions about your rights under Alabama’s Workers Compensation laws, don’t hesitate to contact and speak with one of the experienced Huntsville Workers Compensation Lawyers at Powell and Denny for a free consultation. Virtual appointments are available through Zoom.
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Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 7 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 3 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry.
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Herniated disk at C5-6