What is a Spine Fracture, and What to Know?

Any issue that concerns your spine is usually critical. It is because the spine is a delicate structure that provides body support and allows flexible movement of the body structures. The spine also protects the spinal cord. Spinal damage may lead to severe complications, including disabilities. Any injury related to the spine requires critical care to restore and promote its function. The West Islip spine fracture specialist George Kakoulides, MD, provides comprehensive care to treat all types of spinal fractures. Here you will get more details of spine fractures.

How does a spine fracture occur?

A spine fracture results from the breaking of one or more spinal vertebrae. The spinal fracture may occur on the front side of the vertebra, the back, or both.

Spinal fractures in the neck or the back occur due to severe trauma, including a car crash, a fall from a significant height, or sports injury.

What causes a vertebral compression fracture?

A vertebral compression fracture occurs when the vertebrae are weak; hence unable to support the weight and pressure sustained by the spine. It causes the vertebrae to collapse instead of developing a typical fracture.

Osteoporosis is a common cause of compression fractures that occur due to bone weakness. In addition, your spinal weakness may also result from a spinal infection or tumor.

What are the symptoms of a spinal fracture?

One of the typical symptoms of a spinal fracture is severe neck or back pain, which leads to limited mobility. Other symptoms include:

  • Pain in your arms or legs
  • Tingling sensation in your arms or legs
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bowel and bladder dysfunction

Vertebrae damage may also injure your nerves, causing severe complications, including paralysis. You are also likely to encounter a traumatic brain injury or damage to other body parts.

Treatments for spine fractures

Your provider uses X-rays, CT scans, and MRI tests to provide clear images of your bones and soft tissues. The tests allow your provider to assess the location and degree of damage of your spinal cord and nerve root compression.

After evaluating your spinal fracture injury, they create a personalized treatment plan to address all your concerns. Not all fractures need treatment, such as transverse process fractures and isolated spinous.

Your provider may recommend braces for mild fracture cases and surgery for severe fractures. The surgery aims at decompressing the nerve roots and spinal cord.

Where the spinal fracture has caused spinal disability, your provider implants rods or screws to provide stability. Usually, Dr. Kakoulides performs minimally invasive surgeries, but for severe fractures, traditional open surgery may be necessary.

The treatment for compression fractures involves a non-invasive technique known as kyphoplasty, where they insert a needle into the damaged bone and inflate a balloon to replace the height of the vertebra. They also inject bone cement to promote the strength and integrity of the spine.

Spine fracture may be deadly when it causes damage to the spinal cord. Seeking medical attention right away can help prevent complications. If you have severe back or neck pain, you might have a spine fracture. Call George Kakoulides, MD today, to schedule your consultation.