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A spinal fracture can range from a painful compression fracture, which is more commonly seen after minor trauma when you have osteoporosis, to a more severe injury such as a burst fracture from a car accident or fall from a significant height. These injuries will often result in spinal cord injury and quite severe pain.
There are various forms of spinal fractures, ranging from compressions, bursts, flexion-distraction or fracture-dislocation. These are usually categorized as stable, unstable, minor or major.
Reduce your risk.
If a significant force is applied to your spine, your vertebral bones may no longer be able to support the spine. Sometimes, parts of the vertebral column may be crushed slightly, leading to a compression fracture, or, if the whole column breaks, a burst fracture may occur.
In cases where the spinal compression is mild, you may only experience mild pain and deformity. Osteoporosis is the most common internal risk factor, but car accidents, falls, sports or violent injuries cause many spinal fractures. Most patients with traumatic fractures are males between the ages of 18 and 25.
Pinpoint your pain.
The symptoms of a spinal fracture will vary from person to person depending on the severity and location. Some symptoms can include pain in the back or neck, numbness or a feeling of “pins and needles.” In some cases, paralysis occurs. However, not all spinal fractures will cause spinal cord injury, and it is rare that the spinal cord is completely severed to cause full paralysis.
Get the answers you need.
Most spinal injuries are caused by car accidents or falls. As a result, most spinal injury patients are first assessed by an emergency room doctor. Depending on the injury, a specialist would further assess your condition. From there, the spine is often supported by a neck or back brace until further diagnostics are completed by your specialist at Kayal Pain & Spine Center. X-rays, CT and MRI scans are all imaging tests that may be used to further categorize the type and severity of your spinal fracture.
Life’s too short to put up with pain.
In less severe cases of spinal fracture, you will be treated with a brace or waist corset for several months. This helps reduce pain, enforces rest and prevents bone deformity.
Surgical procedures such as instrumentation and spinal fusions may be recommended to treat more severe fractures. This surgery joins two vertebrae together with hardware, such as plates or rods, and will usually take a few months to fuse solidly. Your Kayal Pain & Spine Center specialist also may recommend vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, which are minimally invasive surgical procedures conducted to treat spinal compression fractures caused by osteoporosis and spinal tumors. Your surgeon will work directly with you to analyze the cause, category and severity to provide the best treatment for your unique situation.