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Fractures

The delicate tissues that make up the spinal cord are protected by the bones in your spine. Those bones have an important job to do, and they do their job quite well. However, those bones can be surprisingly delicate, and if they are subjected to some kind of trauma, they can break.

Spinal fractures can happen after a fall, a blow to the head or shoulders, an automobile crash, horseback riding accidents, or gymnastics-related falls. Fractures sometimes happen when the spine is bent or twisted when the event occurs. Fractures can also happen due to a whiplashlike movement of the head. People with osteoporosis may develop a fracture with even simple movements.

No matter how your spinal fracture happened, the experts at Twin Cities Spine Center can help.

Treating a spinal fracture

The type of treatment you'll need in order to heal will depend on the type of spinal fracture you have. Our team has experience in dealing with a variety of different types of fractures, including:

Compression fractures, which occur when vertebrae in the back collapse due to an injury or an underlying health issue such as osteoporosis or a tumor. One or more vertebrae may be affected.

Seat belt fractures, which happen when a vertebra is broken due to pressure from a seat belt during a car crash. These fractures may also damage the ligaments in the back and neck.

Fracture dislocations, which occur when vertebrae are broken and pieces of those broken vertebrae move out of their assigned spaces. These fractures occur with high-force injuries (such as car crashes and falls), and they are often accompanied by spinal cord damage and paralysis.

Burst fractures, which cause compression of the vertebrae and send pieces of bone into the spinal canal. Those bone fragments can damage the spinal cord, and that could cause damage and/or paralysis.

Other factors that influence the treatment needed for a fracture include:

  • The area of the spine involved.
  • The presence or absence of spinal cord damage.
  • The amount of bend or curve seen in your spine.
  • The condition of the bones, including the presence of osteoporosis.

Our doctors can perform imaging tests, so they can see just where the breaks are and how much damage they might cause. Our team has years of experience in finding fractures other doctors might miss. When it comes to treatment, our doctors have plenty of tools at their disposal that can get you back to health.

Some spinal fractures require surgery. For example, fractures that damage the spinal cord and fractures that cause unusual bends in the spine often require surgery such as a spinal fusion surgery.

Our team will explain your surgical options carefully, so you'll know all about the plan before surgery begins. You're in good hands with our surgeons; they have decades of experience in spine specialty care and surgery.

If surgery isn't required, our team may provide you with a brace for structural support during healing. Your doctor can also discuss your physical therapy and medication options.