What Is a Spinal Fracture?
A spinal fracture is a broken vertebra, which can occur anywhere in the spine from the neck down to the lower back. Similar to a broken arm or leg bone, a broken vertebra can result from trauma, such as a fall, car accident or sports-related impact. Additionally, if the spinal bones have become weakened due to osteoporosis, a vertebral compression fracture can even result from a routine activity that only slightly strains or jars the spine. Some examples include bending to pick up an object from the floor, reaching overhead to open a window or lifting a relatively lightweight item, such as a bag of groceries.
Like any other broken bone, a spinal fracture can cause pain and inflammation. However, because the vertebrae are in close proximity to the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots, a broken vertebra can potentially cause neurological complications as well. For instance, if a vertebra is forced out of alignment or a bone fragment breaks off, the displaced bone can potentially compress a nearby spinal nerve.
What are the symptoms of a spinal fracture?
In addition to neck or back pain, a spinal fracture can cause:
- Pain that worsens with standing or walking and improves with lying down
- Difficulty bending and twisting the spine
- A loss of body height
- Excessive spinal curvature
- A stooped or hunched-forward posture
Additionally, if a spinal fracture causes nerve compression, other symptoms may develop, such as pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling sensations that travel along the pathway of an affected nerve, which may run from the spine all the way down one arm or leg.
How is a spinal fracture addressed?
Some vertebral fractures gradually heal on their own over the course of several months. In the meantime, it is important to avoid strenuous exercise, heavy lifting and other activities that can aggravate the condition. Medications and bracing can help relieve pain, and after the fracture heals, physical therapy can help restore mobility and range of motion.
In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove a bone fragment, realign a displaced vertebra or add support and stability to the spinal column. At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we provide a comprehensive range of spinal fracture treatment options — both surgical and nonsurgical — to residents of Houston, TX, and surrounding areas. Our spine specialists can assess your injury and make an individualized recommendation for you.
To learn more about our approach to spinal fracture treatment, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, today.
To request an appointment, please enter the information on the form on the right and press the “Continue” button to start the appointment request process.
1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
What Our Patients Are Saying
I have been a patient of Dr. Cubbage for several years. Each time of go there, he always presents a thorough plan of care. From ordering the most appropriate diagnostic tests to making sure you understand
I have found the staff to be courteous and professional. Lynn and Julie were wonderful to work with and took good care of me. And Dr. Brooks and Dr. Mack are excellent
Always awesome. Everyone is kind, very professional and thorough. Dr Blalock and his team go out of their way to help any way they can.
They are very professional and attentive. I was having shoulder pain. The wait was short and staff very kind.
Very Knowledgeable and helpful. Went in for an appt. with Dr. Elbaz for tennis elbow. Needed prp injections and they didn’t have an opening til the following week, but since I traveled 2 hrs to their office
Dr. Matthew Cubbage is absolutely the best Spinal Specialist in the area. After 2 successful surgeries by Dr. Cubbage myself, I have recommended him to Family & Friends and we have all had great experiences
Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine has, at 76, virtually given me a new lease on being mobile and active. I have seen Dr’s Tanous, Patel, and Cubbage for an assortment of neck, spine and hip problems.
Advanced Orthopaedics is the absolute best PT I’ve ever gone through. The significance in my hip is just part of it.
Dr. Patel is a very good Pain Management Doctor. She is one of my favorite doctors.
I had been in so much pain with my back for years. It got so bad that I knew I had to do something. I went to Dr Mohr for help. I was so afraid to have spine surgery as I had heard so many horror stories.