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Dallas Spine Fractures

What You Should Know

Spinal fractures are serious injuries. Fractures of the spine have many causes, including car accidents, falls, work-related injuries, sports-related injuries, or osteoporosis (weak bones) to name a few.

Many spinal fractures can heal on their own, but some fractures can cause damage to the spinal cord or nerves. Fractures can also damage the structural integrity of your spine. The surgeons at the Methodist Moody Brain and Spine Institute are experts at managing all varieties of spinal fractures and often collaborate with professionals in other specialties, such as trauma surgery, in the management of fractures that occur after serious accidents.

Types of Spinal Fractures

The spine can fracture in many different ways. Most fractures are small and can heal on their own after wearing a brace for a few weeks. Larger more complicated fractures can cause injury to the nerves or the spinal cord and often require surgery.

The most common types of spinal fractures include:

  • Compression Fractures – This type of fracture occurs when the front part of a vertebra collapses in on itself. They frequently occur in people who have osteoporosis (i.e. weak bones) or a tumor in the spine.
  • Chance Fractures – Also known as a “seat-belt injury”, chance fractures are caused by an aggressive forward motion that pulls the vertebra apart. This typically occurs in a car accident when the body is pulled forward but the hips remain secured by a seatbelt.
  • Burst Fractures – This is the more severe version of a compression fracture. In a burst fracture, the entire vertebra compresses and collapses, instead of just the front of it. Burst fractures can be caused by falling from a great height or other serious accidents.

Not all spinal fractures are immediately painful, and not all require surgery. However, it is important to have them appropriately diagnosed because a spinal fracture increases your risk of sustaining serious nerve or spinal cord injury.

Treatment for Spine Fractures

As mentioned earlier, most minor fractures can heal on their own after a period of bracing. Compression fractures (see above) can often be treated with a minimally invasive procedure in which cement is injected into the bone. Complex fractures often require a spinal fusion to stabilize the spine and prevent injury to the nerves and/or spinal cord.

Don’t take chances with spine fractures. If you have had persistent back pain after an accident, contact Methodist Moody Brain and Spine Institute today at (214) 948-2076.