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It is important that the jury understands the pros and cons of this type of issue. So they need to have a good grasp of the vertebral column anatomy. If the attorney clearly explains the number and location of the major vertebrae and the sacrum and coccyx, as well as how the spine is curved, the jury can understand how the spine is a load-bearing structure and the risks of injury to materials that join each vertebra. This is especially true at the bottom of the column end, in the L5-S1 interface. The majority of serious injuries happen at this level or at L4-L5.
Vertebrae are stacked on each other with the nucleus pulposis between each structure. It acts essentially as a shock absorber. It is contained the space that is between the vertebrae and what is called annulus fibrosis. The nucleus pulposis is often compared to the stuff that is inside a golf ball. It may be referred to as a type of gristle-type material. If it tears or ruptures, the disc material will herniate. Depending on the location of this tear, the disc could impinge upon key nerve roots that go through the foramen and descend to make nerves that supply your lower extremities. Pressure or impingement on the nerve roots can cause pain and lead to significant impairment. Impairment may be pain, sensation loss, or numbness. Other problems could be muscle atrophy, muscle spasm, loss of range of motion, and tenderness in the joint.
There are many symptoms of a herniated disc, but all systems are not usually presented. Some symptoms relate to a higher injury level, which is thoracic, and others are related to an injury in the lumbar area. Common symptoms that can present are:
*Note that the annulus fibrosis can be damaged and bulge and this may occur without an actual tear or rupture. If a disc bulges, there can be similar symptoms and can be very disabling to you.
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