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Spinal Fractures Traumatic, Osteoporotic, Tumor Associated


 A spinal fracture or vertebral compression fracture occurs when one or more bone in the spinal canal collapses, breaks or gets fractured. The fractures and dislocations can pinch, compress, and even tear the spinal cord.

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Causes of Spinal fractures

The primary causes of spinal fracture include the following:

  • Motor vehicular accidents
  • Falls
  • Sports activities
  • Acts of violence
  • Diseases such as osteoporosis
  • Spinal tumors
  • Gunshot

Risk factors of Spinal fractures

Following factors increases the risk of spinal fracture in an individual:

  • Bone loss
  • Previous spinal fracture
  • Menopause
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids
  • Men have 4 times higher risk than women

Symptoms of Spinal fractures

Symptoms of a spinal fracture depend upon the severity and location of the injury. It may include:

  • Sudden or chronic, dull pain in back or neck
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle spasm
  • Weakness
  • Bowel/bladder changes
  • Loss of balance of the body
  • Loss of height due to spinal collapse
  • Postural changes or a dowager’s hump
  • Compressed chest cavity, making it difficult to breathe, eat or sleep properly
  • Sometimes paralysis

Diagnosis of Spinal fracture

All the cases of a spinal injury or pain need to be thoroughly examined physically, neurologically as well as diagnostically with following tests:

  • X-ray
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan

Treatment for Spinal fracture

Treatment of spinal fractures depends on the type of fracture as well as the degree of instability. It includes the following:

  • Pain management
  • Stabilization of area to prevent further injury
  • Bracing and/or surgery (depending upon the type of fracture):
    • Braces & Orthotics
    • Instrumentation & Fusion
    • Vertebroplasty & Kyphoplasty

Authored by Dr. Shyam Sundar K

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Dr. Shyam Sundar K

Dr. Shyam Sundar K is an eminent name in the field of neurology. He is one of the best neurosurgeon in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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