I was in a car accident in July 2010. In Dec 2010 when my back was not getting better, but worse I was sent for an MRI and told that I had 3 herniated discs in my lower back. I was 26 years old at the time. There is a lawsuit due to my injuries which also included several broken teeth from the impact. The opposing council is stating that since I was diagnosed with a pulled muscle with pain in my back and upper leg from moving a filing cabinet 6 months before the accident (which cleared up on its own after a few weeks) that I may have herniated my dics from that incident. He is sending my MRI from Dec 2010 (which was the only scan I have ever had) to another radiologist for a second opinion. Is there any way for them to tell which injury caused this issue or really give an age of the injury since the MRI was not even done until about 6 months after the car accident? I am certain it was from the car accident as the filing cabinet injury was diagnosed as a muscle strain which resolved on its own after a few weeks where as after the car accident I could not walk, missed time from work, received 3 epidurals and several months of physical therapy and still deal with stiffness and numbness in my legs and feet. Thank you for your help.
Determining the age of herniated discs is a very specific matter that depends upon the history, quality, intensity of pain, prior imaging and medical records. This is called a “medico-legal determination” and some doctors are better than others in the elucidation of this timeline. Unfortunately, some doctors in this legal field have a predetermined mindset which makes these matters more difficult to determine causation. I cannot tell you who is better in this field than others.