When someone says they have a “broken back,” they are referring to a spinal fracture, which may include one or more of the 33 bones that make up the spine and protect it. An injury to the back, particularly a fractured back, might be distressing, but it does not always indicate that the spine has been damaged.
When you suddenly fall, you run the risk of injuring or even breaking your back. Accidents involving cars or other types of collisions may cause traumatic injuries that can end in spinal fractures. Vertebral fractures may also be caused by other disorders, such as osteoporosis (in which the bones become weak or brittle) and malignancies that develop in the spine.
Fractures of the vertebrae may occur as a result of bone deterioration caused by bacterial or fungal infections of the vertebrae. Inadequate diet, a compromised immune system (including cancer), and obesity are all factors that may contribute to an increased risk of fractures.
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What are the symptoms of a broken spine?
The most prominent sign is excruciating pain in the region of the broken or fractured back. If you have pain in your back whenever you move, this is another symptom that the vertebrae in your back may have been torn.
Numbness, on the other hand, may be accompanied with pain in the event that the fractured spinal cord pushes on other nerves. If you have an injury to the spinal cord, it is possible that your reflexes and muscular strength may be compromised. Damage to the nerves may also result in issues with the bladder and the bowels. There are three primary fracture patterns that may occur in the spine. It’s possible that each one has its own unique collection of symptoms. Flexion, rotation, and extension are the three patterns that may be seen.
It’s possible that your spine may start to curve or flex forward, but some sorts of fractures can restrict how much your spine can move in that direction. Examples include compression fractures and axial rupture fractures.
A compression fracture is when the front of a vertebra breaks off, causing you to lose height, while the rear of the vertebra stays intact. This causes you to have a compression fracture. The patient may have discomfort in their back, arms, or legs as a symptom. When the spinal cord is injured, patients may experience numbness in their limbs. If you have a compression fracture, it is possible that your height could decrease significantly over time.
When a person’s height drops on both the front and back side of a vertebra, this condition is known as an axial bust fracture. The signs and symptoms are comparable to those of a fracture that is caused by compression. When you have an axial rupture fracture, you may find that walking makes the discomfort worse.
The aftermath of a broken back injury is characterized by a great deal of agony. On the other hand, the spine is almost never damaged, therefore there is neither numbness nor weakness. The integrity of the spine’s stability is maintained. It is unusual to find a transverse process fracture. It is the consequence of an automobile colliding with something, tilting to one side, or abruptly turning around.
An example of a violent trauma that might produce a fracture-dislocation is being in a vehicle accident. This particular form of injury results in a break in the bone and, in many instances, also causes damage to the spinal cord and other soft tissues. In addition to this, the vertebra that is being damaged shifts out of its normal position. This is what’s known as disorder.
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An injury known as an extension injury occurs when the bones in the vertebrae are stretched or extended in an abnormally forceful manner. When a person is in a vehicle accident, they might suffer from a form of fracture known as an extension fracture. Jerking helps to keep the upper body in position, while a seat belt around the waist helps to keep the lower body in place. Pain in the muscles may be caused by fractures, which can also be caused by this injury, which can injure the ligaments in the back.
It is possible to experience a great deal of pain as a result of injuries sustained from damage to an internal organ. It’s possible that this may dull some of the discomfort coming from your back.
What are the reasons for a broken back?
Compression fractures of the vertebrae may be brought on by osteoporosis, broken bones, or disorders that damage the bone (pathological fractures).
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that causes a reduction in bone density. This decrease in bone density might increase the probability that a person will have a spinal compression fracture with little to no external stress.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones and most usually affects women who have gone through menopause. Nevertheless, osteoporosis may also affect males, persons of advanced age, and those who use steroids for an extended period of time like prednisone.
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The height at which a person steps their foot may be diminished if they suffer a serious enough injury to cause a vertebra to shatter. It is also possible for someone who has been in a vehicle accident to have this condition.
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a fracture with pathogenic causes
1-A pathological fracture is one that occurs as a result of a disease that was already present in the vertebrae.
This kind of fracture is often the result of cancer that has spread from the affected bone to other parts of the body, such as the prostate, the breast, or the lung. In other words, the cancer has metastasized.
3-Pathologic fractures are also possible as a complication of other disorders, such as Paget’s disease of the bone and bone infection (osteomyelitis).
How likely is it that I will fracture my spine?
Spinal fractures are more likely to occur in one of two categories of people:
1- Patients diagnosed with osteoporosis
2-Patients whose cancer has progressed to the point where it has spread to their bones
If you have been diagnosed with some forms of cancer, such as multiple myeloma or lymphoma, you should talk to a physician about your treatment options. On the other hand, cancer may occasionally appear before any other symptoms of a spinal fracture.
Osteoporosis, on the other hand, is the leading cause of spinal compression fractures. The following factors make it more probable that some individuals may get the disease:
In terms of race, the highest danger is posed to women of Asian and European descent.
Age: The risk is greatest for women over the age of 50 and continues to rise with increasing age.
Weight: Women who are underweight are at a higher risk.
How are fractures of the spine treated?
The degree of a spinal fracture and the area in which it occurred both play a role in determining how it should be treated, just as they do with any other kind of injury. In certain cases, a small fracture may heal without the need for surgery.
It is possible that you may need to wear an external back brace in order to assist in the stabilization of the spine if the injury occurs in the upper or lower back.
A neck brace is required in the event of a fracture of a cervical (neck) vertebra. In the event that the neck injury needs further immobilization, there will be no mobility, and a “halo” may be required. It is wrapped around the head and worn there. It is connected to a vest that is worn around the torso, and it is secured in place using pins.
Nonetheless, surgery is required in the event that the injury to the back is severe enough to warrant it. The kind of fracture dictates the surgical procedure that must be performed. In many instances, a bone fragment may need to be removed surgically by a specialist. These pieces pose a potential risk to the spinal cord as well as the nerve roots.
The following is a list of the conventional surgical treatment options for some of the most frequent fractures:
When surgery is required to fix a compressed vertebra, there are often two operations that are carried out. A catheter is used in the relatively recent medical technique known as vertebroplasty.
The fracture is located by the surgeon, who then directs the catheter to that location. After that, a specialized bone cement is injected via the catheter into the fracture. It does not correct any deformities that may have been produced by the accident, but it does assist to stabilize the bone and alleviate the discomfort. After a vertebroplasty, you could find that your posture has changed and that your range of motion has been restricted.
Kyphoplasty is a surgery that is quite similar. A little cut is made in the patient’s back in order to do this. The surgeon inserts an inflated balloon into the damaged bone, and then uses bone cement to grow the vertebra back up to its normal height while the balloon is still inside.
The diagnosis and treatment of a bust fracture need an autopsy to be performed on the corpse. This refers to a surgical procedure in which all or part of a vertebra is removed. After that, the missing bone will be replaced by the surgeon using artificial plates or screws (known as instrumentation). When there is compression on one or more of the vertebrae, this procedure is performed. This reduces the amount of pressure that is being exerted on those bones as well as the spinal cord or nerves.
A posterior approach is used while performing a spinal fusion. The fracture may be treated if the harm has not reached the spinal cord at its distal end. Instrumentation involving two or more vertebrae is required for fusion to take place. It does a good job of reducing pain while also helping to stabilize the spine. Spinal fusion surgery decreases both range of motion and flexibility.
When a back brace isn’t enough to address the damage caused by a fracture, a posterior spinal fusion may be the best option for therapy.
The first possibility is a spinal fusion procedure that also involves the insertion of instruments and the straightening of the vertebrae. In the event that the spinal fusion does not heal and does not recover, a frontal fusion, with or without instrumentation, could be the best option.
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