Spine fractures can occur at any part of your spinal column, but they are most common where the mid-back meets the lower back. Various factors cause spine fractures, including car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Spine fractures are also common in older people due to weakened bones. They cause severe pain, and in some cases, they can be disabling. The Huntington spine fracture specialist, George Kakoulides, MD, provides comprehensive treatments to relieve pain and restore your health. This article will help you understand everything about spine fractures.
What causes a spine fracture?
A spinal fracture is where you have one or more broken spinal bones. The fracture may occur on the front or back side of the vertebra or both.
Spinal fractures may occur at any part of your spine, including the neck, mid or lower back. They result from various causes such as car accidents, falls from a high height, or severe sports injuries. Osteoporosis, spinal infection or tumor, and aging may also lead to spinal fractures.
Spinal fractures range from minor to major, all of which may cause significant damage.
What are the types of spinal fractures?
Spinal fractures may occur as the following.
· Compression fractures
It usually occurs in patients with osteoporosis or cancer.
· Burst fracture
It is common after a car accident. Burst fractures cause severe damage.
· Flexion-distraction fractures
They develop in the middle or back regions of the vertebrae. Flexion-distraction fractures usually result from a sudden force.
· Burst fracture
It involves the whole vertebra fracture, causing it to be unstable.
What are the symptoms of a spine fracture?
Spine fractures result in severe back or neck pain that won’t go away for days. You are also likely to experience limited mobility.
The symptoms usually depend on the severity of the fracture. They may include
· Weakness in arms or legs
· Pain that moves down your arms or legs
· Numbness in your arms or legs
· Bowel problems
· Tingling sensations
Spine fractures cause nerve damage, which may lead to paralysis in severe cases. Traumatic brain injury or damage to other body parts may also occur.
What are the treatment options for spine fractures?
Your provider begins your treatment by carrying out some diagnostic tests to have a clear view of the damaged bones and tissues. They perform imaging tests such as MRI, CT scans, and X-rays to assess the severity of your problem.
Not all spine fractures need treatment such as transverse processes and isolated spinous fractures. Your provider offers braces for mild spine fractures, while they may suggest surgery for severe fractures.
Where your spine fracture causes spinal instability, your provider uses implanting instruments to restore your stability. Usually, they use minimally invasive techniques and only use open surgery where necessary.
They offer kyphoplasty for compression fractures. Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using a needle and an inflated balloon to reinstate the vertebra’s height. Your provider also uses bone cement to enhance your vertebra’s integrity and strength.
If you have severe back pain or other symptoms of a spine fracture, please reach out to George Kakoulides, MD, to schedule your appointment.