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Pain Management

Annular Tears and Vehicle Accidents



I was involved in a car accident in 2004 and I sustained many injuries. Most of my injuries healed except for my back. I was diagnosed with a degenerated disk disease and annular tears. Before my vehicle accident I had minor back pain. When I had a chiropractic adjustment I was better for a long while. Can trauma cause a degenerate disk disease and annular tears?


While DDD and annular tears have been described following MVA, no controlled studies have looked at whether the DDD was there before the accident. Certainly, a MVA would exacerbate pre-existing DDD if not cause new annular tear.

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Response by:

Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD Salim M Hayek, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University