Spinal Fractures and their Possible Effects
Spinal compression fractures generally result from osteoporosis (low bone density). Over time, our bone-generating cells (osteoblasts) become less effective at producing healthy bone tissue. Other factors, such as poor nutrition and smoking (nicotine, a common chemical in cigarettes, is a bone-growth toxin) also lower bone density as we age. Symptoms of a spinal compression fracture include severe sudden back pain (possibly from spinal nerves that have been abruptly compressed), pain while walking and standing, height loss, and structural deformity along the spinal column.
Normally, spinal compression fractures occur during routine activities like picking up a bag of groceries or slipping on a patch of ice. If you are experiencing sudden, severe back pain as a result of routine activity, it’s advised that you seek immediate medical attention (you can be seen by a neurosurgeon or spine surgeon). Your physician will conduct a physical exam designed to narrow the possible causes of your back pain. After the physical exam, it’s also likely that imaging tests (X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging MRI ) will be necessary to confirm that a spinal compression fracture has actually occurred. Even if you do not feel back pain, imaging tests may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis, because occasionally spinal compression fractures occur so gradually that patients do not experience any episodes of sharp pain. Other symptoms may arise as the spine shortens due to a loss in height: weight loss due to pressure placed on the stomach, decreased mobility, breathing problems (the lungs may not function properly due to constriction), and hip pain.
Sudden trauma-related fractures (such as from a car accident or sports injury) are more unpredictable and have the potential to be even more serious. Fragments of vertebrae or pieces of the spinal herniated discs may lacerate the spinal nerves within the spinal canal, leading to a loss of sensation, muscle weakness, or paralysis. Physicians also normally order imaging tests for trauma-related spinal fractures due to the extremely sensitive nature of the injuries and the fact that a patient’s long-term mobility (or even their survival) may be compromised by a misdiagnosis. For osteoporotic compression fractures, a procedure known as a kyphoplasty may be helpful.
Recovery from spinal compression fractures and trauma-related spinal injuries may require extensive physical therapy and chiropractic treatment, during the post-operative care period. Developing muscles along the spinal column with core strengthening will relieve pressure from compromised spinal discs and re-generating bone tissue. Your physician will order several checkups following your back surgery in order to re-evaluate your progress and make any necessary changes to your course of treatment. The length of the post-operative care period will ultimately be determined by the integrity of the patient’s spinal column as well as their mobility and general quality of life.
Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, have significant experience and expertise in working with patients who have suffered fractures of the spine. Many of these patients will need complex medical care, and many will need to also see a personal injury attorney. After an injury, many patients may be confused as to what to do next, and how to straighten out their situations.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX takes care of patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin
If you have SUFFERED AN INJURY, you can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to schedule an appointment online
……. KBNI VIDEO
Keywords: spinal discs, spinal nerves, spinal compression fracture, spinal fractures, back pain, physical exam, Houston, Woodlands, Sugarland, Spring, Katy, Pearland, Kingwood, Humble, Baytown, Beaumont, Galveston, Port Arthur, Memorial, Conroe, Sealy, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas