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.
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1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
AOSM Physical Therapy
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
AOSM Physical Therapy
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
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Excellent care and attention to patients. I recently had a total hip replacement and I am able to walk 6 weeks after surgery with no cane.
Dr. Tanous and everyone at Advanced Orthopaedics are great. The surgery to repair my knee injury and the treatment afterwards were handled amazingly well.
I’ve been with this orthopedic group since 2014. I’ve never had a bad experience with the doctors or the staff. Dr. Drew Fehsenfeld did my shoulder surgery in 2016 and he did great!
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
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
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On Nov. 22, 2017, I had a spinal injection in my lower back and it was an instant miracle in my life!
Doctor Brooks is the best. His advice to get lubricant injected into my knees has made my life so much better. Kudos!
I have been fighting chronic knee pain for ten years following a knee replacement, a bone infection, and subsequent knee revision surgery. After a number of failed solutions to pain relief, Dr. Patel introduced me to RF
We’ve seen several of these drs. Different family members with different issues. They have been exceptional in both the operating procedures and the follow ups.