A large number of the Palm Desert auto accident clients that have been represented by the Barry Regar law firm have suffered from sciatica. This is a very common form of a traumatic low back condition which results in an intense shooting pain moving down one leg. Often the client experiences numbness and tingling along with the above symptoms which most often comes from pressure to or injury of the sciatic nerve which branches off the spinal cord.
Treating sciatica is often unsuccessful and offers less than satisfactory long term results. Dr. Steven Cohn, a professor of anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore has recently said that, "when you examine alternatives for sciatica, no treatment is very reliable or effective."
Against this background of a painful and disabling low back condition medical science has offered patients spinal steroid injections as a treatment option. As a personal injury lawyer I know that my clients who have received spinal injections have mostly received only temporary relief if that. Despite my own observations of the effectiveness or lack thereof of these epidural steroid injections I hear my clients with chronic back pain and sciatica tell me that they are willing to undergo a potentially risky procedure with the hope of getting symptom relief. I understand sciatica and recognize the reasons for reaching for a non-narcotic treatment of that gnawing shooting pain down a leg. Recently there have been a significant number of patients receiving steroid epidural injections that have contracted a deadly fungal infection because of a filthy compounding pharmacy back east. I have already blogged about that last month.
In the November 13th issue of the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney in Australia found that after an analysis of 23 clinical trials following over 3100 patients that these injections resulted in short term improvement of pain and disability for these sciatica patients and no real long term cure. After a couple of weeks and three months following treatment, 10 trials with these injections demonstrated leg pain improvement and 14 trials found improvements in disability. However, after a year or a little longer, there was no differences found in leg pain, disability, or back pain in those patients having the injections as compared to patients given a placebo. These findings are similar to findings in an earlier study that found that after six months following the steroid injections the patients were not any better than patients who had taken an anti-inflammatory drug.
Professor Steven Cohen offered, "It is likely that, at least in some people, epidurals may decrease the likelihood that they will need surgery, not because they last so long, but because they decreased the pain enough for their body to heal itself and/or prevent those deleterious changes from occurring in the nervous system."
In the personal injury litigation process we know that insurance adjusters put a higher settlement value on a car crash claim which is brought by an accident victim who submits to epidural injections to relieve sciatica. These usually cynical representatives of the insurance industry recognize that claimants who have these injections are not faking their symptoms because no one in their right mind would have these shots unless they have run out of options. Depending where in the Coachella Valley one gets these injections, they can cost thousands of dollars. There is a charge for the doctor, the medicine, and the facility charge. Dr Cohen who I quoted above also added that, "doctors should be more selective in choosing which patients could benefit from the injections in view of the results of the most recent efficacy studies."
Contact the Palm Springs Auto Accident lawyer at this firm for any of your medical-legal questions resulting from a serious car accident in the Coachella Valley. There is never a charge for a consultation.