Spinal Fractures

Spinal fractures are different from a broken arm or leg. They mostly occur due to falls, car accidents, or gunshots. When the fracture of the spinal vertebra occurs, it divides into little bone fragments that pinch or damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. 

The symptoms of spinal injuries vary according to the severity and damage caused by the injuries. Spinal injuries can cause mild to severe pain, difficulty walking, or even paralysis- the inability to move your arm or leg on your own. Many fractures of the spinal region heal without any such treatment. But sometimes, they may need surgery. Osteoporosis- thinning of bones can also lead to painful vertebral fractures. To lower pain, healthcare providers may prescribe strong painkillers. If you have a complaint of back pain, you should visit a spinal surgeon in Lahore.

What causes Spinal Fractures?

Spinal fractures occur due to trauma and shock. When anything applies an external force on your bone more than its bearing capacity, it breaks. It can occur due to fall, car accidents, or gunshot. When the front part of the vertebral body breaks and crushes, it can lead to a compression fracture, whereas when the whole vertebral column breaks, it causes burst fracture. 

A fracture of the vertebral column can be highly painful. The healthcare providers prescribe strong painkillers to subside the pain associated with it. However, if the damage is little, and the compression due to fracture is mild with minimal deformity, you will have mild pain. 

Spinal fractures can also occur due to osteoporosis- a condition in which thinning of bones occur, making them weak and prone to fractures. 

What are the Symptoms of Spinal fracture?

The symptoms of spinal fractures vary from person to person, depending on the injury, its severity, and location. It can include symptoms like;

  • Neck pain or back pain
  • Tingling 
  • Numbness 
  • Muscle spasm
  • Weakness 
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control 
  • Paralysis- Inability to move arm or leg 

What are the Treatment Options for Spinal Fracture?

The basic aim for the treatment of the spinal fracture is to lower pain and prevent further injury with stabilization techniques. Your healthcare provider may perform bracing or surgery to stabilize the fracture depending on its type. 

Braces and Orthotics

They help by;

Maintaining spinal arrangement 

Immobilizes your spine so that it can heal properly 

Restricts movement that helps in controlling pain and healing

Braces are usually removed within 8 to 12 weeks. Neck dislocations and unstable neck fractures may need traction to regain their original position. 

Instrumentation and Fusion 

They are surgical procedures that help treat unstable fractures. In this procedure, the two vertebrae are fused with a bone graft held together with hardware material like hooks, rods, plates, and cages. A bone graft aims to form one solid piece of bone by joining the vertebrae from above and below. The solid fusion may take several months or even longer to occur. 

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty 

They are the minimally invasive procedure that helps treat compression fractures associated with spinal tumors or osteoporosis. 

Vertebroplasty – It is a procedure in which the healthcare providers inject bone cement into the fractured vertebral column through a hollow needle. 

Kyphoplasty – A procedure in which a balloon is inserted and inflated inside so that the compressed vertebra is expanded before the filling of space with bone cement. This procedure is done under X-ray guidance.

Conclusion 

Spinal fractures occur due to trauma in your spinal cord. The symptoms of spinal fracture may range from mild pain to paralysis, depending upon the severity of the damage. The healthcare providers will prescribe strong pain relievers along with surgery or any other supportive treatment. If you have had an injury recently, you should visit the spinal surgeon in Karachi.

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