Fractures can happen anywhere along the spine. A fracture of a vertebra can cause bone fragments to pinch and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Most spinal fractures occur from car accidents, falls, sports or a gunshot to the spine. Injuries can range from minor ligament and muscle strains, to fractures and dislocations of the bony vertebrae, to debilitating spinal cord damage.

Spinal Fracture Symptoms

  • Back or Neck Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle Spasm
  • Weakness
  • Bowel/Bladder Changes
  • Paralysis

Spinal Fracture Diagnosis

  • Your physician will assess your breathing and perform a complete physical exam of the spine. Imaging tests of your spine, including a CT scan, X-rays and MRI will be used to evaluate any damage or changes to your spine. Your spine will be kept in a neck or back brace until all diagnostic tests are completed.

Treatment for a Spinal Fracture

  • Bed Rest
  • Bracing to help reduce pain and prevent deformity
  • Medications to stabilize bone density
  • Physical therapy to improve movement and strength around the spine
  • Severe cases may require surgery

Prevention of Spinal Fractures

  • Regular exercise to improve your balance, flexibility and strength
  • Practice good techniques for standing, sitting, and lifting
  • Always wear a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car
  • Avoid dangerous activities
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