Back and Neck Injury/C6/C7 hernate with fractured T1


I have gotten a whiplash few times in the past through fender benders and falling. I recently fell and sustained hairline fracture of my thoracic one vertebrae. what are the signs and symptoms of the disc herniation? How come some cases require surgery and others don't? Since I have to wear a cervical collar how long should I wear it for? What is the signicance of your C6, C7, & T1?

Hi, Nikki,

Disc herniation, itself, has no symptoms, but nerve impingement at the herniation shows up as pain, numbness and/or loss of muscular control in the muscles served by the affected nerves that exit the spinal column at the location of the herniation.

Disc herniation is a long-term consequence of compression of the disc(s) caused by contraction of neighboring muscles, contraction usually triggered by injury, such as whiplash.  The disc breaks down and loses its ability to separate neighboring vertebrae.  Nerves get trapped by too-close neighboring vertebrae.

Surgery for herniation (vs. rupture) is usually an ill-advised procedure that involves shaving the bulging part of the disc -- which further weakens it and makes it more susceptible to rupture -- already a risk from the weakening of the disc.  

There is no answer to how long one has to wear a collar. It depends upon whether the neighboring muscles relax and take pressure off the disc(s).  Without that relaxation, no resolution of the problem occurs.

C6/C7/T1 are names given to identify the location of the vertebrae the discs separate -- base of the neck.

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Lawrence Gold


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