A/Prof Cristina Morganti-Kossmann
June 13, 2016

Disk herniation and spine degeneration

Spine Degeneration & Injuries

Injuries and spine degenerative pathologies represent a major health burden to our societies. Back pain is the second leading condition that requires medical attention. Up to 80% of adults will experience at least one episode of low back pain during their lifetime, and 5% will have recurrent problems some of which remain chronic. Back pain is the most common reason for work absence and loss of income and productivity, thus representing a significant epidemiological problem.

According to the WorkSafe Victoria Statistical Summary 2016/17, the number of claims reported for back injury in the workplace was 4255 in the years 2016/17, which amounts to 16% of all claims, showing a significant reduction from 6185 spinal claims ten years earlier in 2006/07. This latest figure gives a real perspective to the magnitude of a problem encountered in the work place, thus having a huge impact in compensation costs. This statistic, however, does not take into account all other back injuries that are not work-related.

Back injuries due to road traffic accidents were 202 in 2016 leading to a total compensation of over AU$27.6 million in 2016/17 without the inclusion of quadriplegia (over AU$40 million) and paraplegia (AU$21.7 million) (TAC Annual Statistics Report June 2017).

Today’s pathology, disk herniation of the spine represents a frequent example in compensation cases addressed by personal injury lawyers and insurers such as WorkSafe Victoria and Traffic Accident Commission. We believe the description of this pathology with a detailed explanation of the treatments provided will be useful to better address a client’s claim.

Disk herniation is highly common in our society, mostly affecting the cervical and lumbar spine. The spectrum of symptoms, diagnostic and treatment modalities varies considerably, thus leading to an array of controversies to address a complex condition. The most common debates include surgery versus conservative treatment, patient’s ability to return to work, and when a claim is presented how to compensate the client in monetary terms.

To read about this pathology in more detail…

Click here to access the Pathology Disk Herniation of the Spine

Find the tests used for the
Examination of the Spine here

Curious about the Anatomy of the Spine?
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