Illustrated Medicine: Case Study

Spinal Fusion from Dump Truck Rear-Ender

This 50-year-old driver sustained significant injury when his vehicle was rear-ended by a dump truck, causing trauma to his cervical spine. 

Purpose of illustration 
This exhibit was created to demonstrate the appearance of his spine after it was surgically fused, providing a clear translation of the imaging and medical reports, including showing the bone grafts that were inserted to replace the bulging discs that were removed – details that were difficult to appreciate on x-rays. 

Rationale for litigation visual 
For those untrained in medicine, this illustration provides clarity for the complex surgery performed and hard-to-understand radiologically. It provides a concise view of what took place in the OR – showing the anterior plate affixed with screws to the vertebrae, the associated bone grafts and the incision. 

Other visuals demonstrated 
Additional panels illustrated the post-MVA pathology of Mr. Doe’s cervical disc bulges impinging his spinal canal, and the surgery that was required to reposition his symptomatic left ulnar nerve. 

Adam Starr of Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr LLC, used the exhibits at mediation to clearly communicate the key details of his client’s spinal pathology and required surgeries performed, securing a high six-figure settlement for his client.