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Spinal Fractures

What is Spinal Fractures?

Breaks in any of the bones in the spinal column are called spinal fractures. A break can happen because of trauma or softening of the bones, as seen in osteoporosis.

These fractures, commonly seen in the mid and lower spine, can cause instability or a compression of nerves. A fall or vehicle accident is usually behind a traumatic injury, leading to an excessive load on the bones. Injuries to the spine can result in bone fragments damaging the spinal cord or nerve roots.

A compression fracture is when a vertebral body is faced with a force that flexes the spine. This might cause the front of the vertebral body to decrease in height, changing from a rectangular shape to a shape of a trapezoid or wedge.

What are the symptoms of a Traumatic Spine Fracture?

  • Neck or back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness
  • Bowel or bladder changes
  • Paralysis

What are the symptoms of a Compression Spine Fracture?

  • Back pain
  • Difficulty bending or twisting your body
  • Height loss
  • A curved spine

How are Spine Fractures diagnosed?

X-rays or CT scans can identify vertebral fractures or degeneration. An MRI can be used for identifying herniated discs or blood clots.

Reviewed by Dr. Mohd Mashfiqul Arafin Siddiqui (Dr. Mash), Senior Orthopedic and Spine Surgeon, The Orthopaedic Centre, Farrer Park Hospital

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