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
What Our Patients Are Saying
When I started, I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg and now I can do virtually anything. While I hope to not need future therapy, this is without a doubt the place I will return to in the future.
I was in pain for a couple of months and went to see Dr. Cubbage. He knew right away by the way my posture what the issue was. He had me scheduled in and he along with his staff were awesome.
This Hospital/clinic is the best that will take care of your pain and ailments. I will never trust any one else but Dr. Alain Elbaz to heal my body.
So I was going to get on here and brag about what a great surgeon Dr. Cubbage is. But Cubbage is only 3/4 of the picture. He’ll fix you, but Karen is the one that will care for you and heal you!
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!
The surgery done by Dr. S. Patel (Actually injections) & the mild medications she has prescribed has surely made my lower back -hip-leg less painful.
I was treated by Dr. Brooks, about a month ago, for a terrible pain on my right knee. He treated me and within 2 days I was like new. Now the pain started on my left knee. This time I went immediately to Dr. Brooks.
Dr. David R. Mack replaced my right hip in June 2009, and my left in October 2010. I am already able to go places and do things on my own again.
I highly recommend Advanced Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine to anyone who needs anything dealing with bone replacement.
Dr. Cubbage & Staff replaced a disc that had been destroyed between my 4th and 5th vertebra. This is my 4th month since the surgery in January of 2018. I was very impressed with their dedication