When one or more of your vertebral bones cracks, it’s known as a spinal fracture. Each spine has 33 different vertebrae in the spinal column to protect the spinal cord and nerves. When one of those vertebrae crack, it exposes the spinal cord, nerves, and nerve roots open to damage. It’s important to note that a spinal fracture can become a serious problem and often requires urgentmedical attention before it leads to damage to the spinal cord, paralysis, and, in severe cases, death.
Causes of Spinal Fracture
Spinal fractures occur when an individual experiences trauma or extreme physical injury, like a car accident or a fall. Osteoporosis is also a common culprit behind spinal fractures because the condition decreases bone density and mass, weakening the bones.
Spinal Fracture Symptoms
Unlike many other spinal conditions, spinal fractures usually make themselves known pretty early on. Some of the more common symptoms include:
• Constant, severe pain
• Tingling or numbness
• Muscle weakness
• Limited mobility
• Paralysis in the extremities
Because of the risks associated with spinal fractures, it’s imperative that anyone suffering from the condition seek immediate medical attention.
Diagnosing and Treating a Spinal Fracture
While some spinal fractures are milder, other more traumatic spinal fractures should be evaluated by a medical professional, like the skilled, compassionate team at Central NJ Spine. When diagnosing a patient, our doctors will conduct diagnostic studies, such as CT scans, X-rays, and MRIs. Once a diagnosis has been reached, our doctors will immobilize the spine to prevent the fractured area from becoming more damaged. This might be done using a neck or back brace or by applying metal pins into the spine. In some cases, surgery may be required. Once the spine is stabilized, treatment options will be discussed and may include physical therapy.
Are you or someone you know suffering from a spinal fracture? Schedule a consultation at Central NJ Spine today. Call our office at 201-371-6004.