Definition of Vertebral Fracture
A vertebral fracture or vertebral fracture is a dislocation or fracture of the vertebral column (spinal column) and can occur anywhere along the spine. Most spinal fractures are caused by injury or trauma from a car accident, fall, sport, or some kind of high-speed bump. Injuries from these accidents can range from mild muscle and ligament strains to more serious fractures and spinal cord damage. Minor spinal fractures can heal with rest and medication.
However, more serious spinal fractures may require surgery to realign the bones. If left untreated, spinal fractures can lead to permanent spinal damage, nerve damage, and even paralysis. There are several types of vertebral fractures that should be known, including:
- Compression fracture: Compression fractures are usually caused by osteoporosis, tumors or other disorders of the spine. The front of the spine fractures and deteriorates, while the back of the spine remains stable.
- Fracture plastic axial or fracture: The fracture plastic Axial is caused by a loss of height in the front and back of the vertebrae due to a fall or vertical impact.
- Accidental fracture: Fracture caused by pulling the spine due to a hard forward bending injury. Accidental fractures usually occur as a result of a car accident.
Causes of Spine Fractures
Spinal fractures can be caused by several conditions that weaken bones, such as:
- Traumatized Examples include car accidents, falls, sports, or acts of violence (eg, being shot). Indeed, such traumatic events can put excessive pressure on the spine, resulting in vertebrae may break because it cannot withstand pressure.
- Cancer des os.
- Spinal tumors.
Vertebral Fracture Risk Factors
Risk factors that can cause vertebral fractures include:
- Age. Vertebral fractures are more common in older people (elderly). This is caused by reduced body balance, which makes a person more prone to falls.
- Gender. Women who have gone through menopause are at higher risk for vertebral fractures.
- Way of life. People who often lift heavy loads or often sit for long periods of time in non-ergonomic positions are more likely to experience spinal fractures.
Spine Fracture Symptoms
Symptoms of a spinal fracture vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. Not all fractures result in spinal cord injury and it is rare for the spinal cord to be severed completely. The most common symptom of a spinal fracture is pain in the back that gets worse with movement. Other spinal fracture symptoms may include:
- Pain in the back or neck.
- Tingling or numbness.
- Weakness or paralysis of the limbs.
- Uncontrolled muscle spasms.
- Loss of control of urine or bowels.
- Loss of consciousness due to high energy trauma requires immediate emergency evacuation and treatment.
Diagnosis of vertebral fractures
If your doctor suspects you have nerve damage, he or she may order a neurological exam. After performing a neurological examination, the doctor may recommend carrying out several additional examinations such as:
- X-rays. This procedure can clearly show the condition of the bones, so you can see if you have a fracture.
- CT scans. This test shows bone, in addition to soft tissue, such as nerves. If a neurological problem is suspected, aCT may be necessary analysis for see what presses on the nerves and spine.
- MRI. This procedure exposes soft tissues such as discs and nerves. Doctors can also see problems with intervertebral discs through an MRI.
Treatment of vertebral fractures
The first step in treating a fracture is to stabilize the victim. This can be done by using a spine board, stretcher, or collar to prevent the person from moving around and sustaining further injury.
Once stable, the doctor will determine if surgical treatment is necessary based on the severity and location of the fracture. Some small fractures can be treated without surgery with cervical braces, at rest for a certain period of time. Surgery may be recommended for those with unstable fractures. The goal is to help reduce pressure on the spinal cord and stabilize the spine.
Once emergency treatment is in place, treatment for a spinal fracture may include:
- Physical rehabilitation and therapy.
- Use of medications to help control health problems that arise from spinal fractures. For example, such as drugs to treat pain, bowel and bladder dysfunction, muscle spasticity.
People with spinal fractures also need follow-up care from specialist doctors and physical rehabilitation.
Complications of vertebral fractures
Minor vertebral fractures may not cause long-term damage. However, this condition can cause chronic pain and disability if left untreated. Meanwhile, in cases of severe vertebral fractures, this condition can risk triggering complications if not treated properly. For example, such as spinal deformity, chronic pain and loss of mobility. Spinal cord compression and spinal cord injury can lead to other complications such as loss of sensation and paralysis.
On the other hand, surgery as a step in the treatment of vertebral fractures can also lead to complications. For example, such as bleeding, blood clots, infections and reactions to anesthesia. Other spinal surgery complications include cerebrospinal fluid leaks and pseudarthrosis. Non-union is a condition when the fracture does not heal properly even after surgery.
Prevention of vertebral fractures
Lifestyle that can help avoid vertebral fractures, among others:
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D, calcium and protein and take supplements if needed. These nutrients are very good for vertebral fractures. Also spend time in the sun to get vitamin D.
- Consult your doctor to discuss treatment options for osteoporosis. It is also important for a woman to see a doctor if she feels menopause religious.
- Do sports like walking, running and playing tennis. This is a lifestyle change that can help build strong bones in the long run.
- Make the environment around your home as safe as possible by removing obstacles that could cause you to fall. Drive carefully to reduce the risk of car accidents.
- Improve balance by lifting weights using your arms as well as your legs to increase your strength.
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce your alcohol intake or stop drinking altogether.
Read too: 6 Hip Fracture Symptoms to Watch out for