(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this car accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
An MRI was taken of Mr. Owen’s cervical spine on February 21, 2006, at the Sacramento Imaging Center. This scan was interpreted as revealing:
1. Mild to moderate anterior extradural impressions at the C4-5 and C5-6 levels. At the C4-5 level this is due to a small central disc protrusion and at the C5-6 level, it appears due to a moderate broad based disc osteophyte;
2. Right sided foramina 1 narrowing at the C5-6 level due to bony hypertrophic changes;
3. The cord has a generally flattened appearance throughout the cervical spine and the AP diameter of the canal, even where the discs appear normal, is less than 9 millimeters.
Dr. Brown immediately referred Mr. Owen to Dr. Lee Messi for neuro-surgical consultation. Dr. Messi summarized his findings in a letter of July 6, 2006. Dr. Messi noted that Mr. Owen was then experiencing posterior neck pain with radiation into his right upper extremity. On examination, Dr. Messi noted weakness in Mr. Owen’s biceps and triceps muscles upon dorsiflexion of the right hand, with decreased bicipital reflex on the right when compared to the left. Dr. Messi noted that Mr. Owen’s cervical range of motion was restricted to 60% of normal. Dr. Messi reviewed the MRI scan and noted significant disc abnormalities at both C4-5 and C5-6. Dr. Messi concluded that Mr. Owen’s symptoms were consistent with radiation from a C5-6 disc abnormality.
At deposition, it was Dr. Messi’s opinion that the accident was a substantial factor in Mr. Owen’s present condition. Defendant took Mr. Owen’s spine as she found it-and injured it. The accident transformed a previous asymptomatic spine into debilitating radiating pain from to cervical discs. The only procedure to address this matter on a permanent structural basis are anterior cervical discectomies and fusions at C4-5 and C5-6. The estimated cost of these procedures is between $65,000 to $90,000, plus physical therapy, assuming that the surgery goes as planned and without complications. Mr. Owen’s age and history of diabetes are both additional risk factors for a surgery of this type. (See Part 5 of 5.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.