Help for Your Spinal Fracture

A spinal fracture can result from a traumatic event, like a fall or sports injury, or be linked to degeneration of the spine due to osteoporosis. Although many spinal fractures heal on their own, it’s crucial to get your symptoms evaluated early on by a professional in case you’ve suffered nerve damage as well. This way your physician can create a sound treatment plan as soon as possible. 

Highly respected board-certified neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Cohen offers a range of proven treatments for spinal fracture pain and damage, from conservative treatments to surgical solutions. 

How do spinal fractures happen?  

High-impact trauma — like a car crash or serious fall — and complications from weakening bones cause the majority of spinal fractures

There are several types of fractures that are typically associated with specific causes, and the origin of your fracture helps guide Dr. Cohen as he develops your treatment plan. 

Types of spinal fractures

Unfortunately, there’s more than one way a spinal fracture occurs:

This type of fracture is the result of serious trauma, like an auto accident, which basically crushes your vertebra. The severe pressure put on your spine in a few split seconds leads to multiple fractures at one time. Bone fragments can scatter and damage your spinal cord as well.

Those with osteoporosis are most susceptible to compression spine fractures. At a certain point, your weakened vertebra/ae can’t take any more pressure and they give way, unable to support your weight. These fractures can happen even as the result of a minor injury. 

These occur when your body is thrust forward — again, something that happens often during car collisions — and a vertebra or vertebrae are broken, usually in what’s termed the posterior and middle column locations of the spine.

This type of fracture can be associated with a burst, compression, or flexion-distraction fracture, and happens when your vertebra is dislocated. As a result, your spine becomes profoundly unstable.

When a spinal fracture occurs, the main concern is the degree to which it compromises your spinal stability. 

Spinal fracture symptoms vary

Spine fracture symptoms vary depending on your position and activity and include mild-to-severe pain that begins suddenly:

Strangely, compression fractures may present no noticeable pain or other symptoms at all. This is why it’s important, especially for those with bone fragility, to note changes in their mobility, any type of spine deformity, like hunching forward (kyphosis), or “shrinking” in height, and report it to their physician.

What treatments are available for spinal fractures? 

Fortunately, Dr. Cohen offers several effective treatments that can successfully relieve your spinal fracture symptoms. Conservative treatments include bracing, medications, and modifying your level of activity. Imaging and neurological tests help him determine what type of fracture you have and its severity.

Dr. Cohen also offers two innovative, minimally invasive surgical procedures that repair spinal fractures. These procedures bring your bones back into proper alignment, make your spine more stable, and alleviate pressure on your spinal cord.   

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are procedures for compression fractures. During each, Dr. Cohen places a hollow needle into your crumbled vertebra. He then injects a special quick-drying bone cement into the void he created. The result is a stronger, more stable spine.  

With kyphoplasty, Dr. Cohen uses a balloon to stretch your spine so it returns to its same pre-fracture length, prior to injecting the bone cement. 

If the thick oval bone in each of your vertebrae — known as the vertebral body — fractures, you can suffer multiple pinched nerves in addition to major spinal instability. Dr. Cohen approaches these cases by performing a lumbar vertebral body replacement.

During this advanced procedure, Dr. Cohen must swap out the fractured section with a small metal cage that contains bone graft material. He connects both sides of the cage to your intact vertebra with surgical screws. 

During your post-surgical healing period, the bone graft material extends beyond the confines of the cage and slowly fuses with your natural bone. 

If you have had the misfortune of an unsuccessful surgery to correct a spinal fracture, Dr. Cohen can perform a revision surgery so you can finally get relief. 

Dr. Cohen has great empathy for his patients who suffer spinal fractures. Fortunately, the minimally invasive surgical procedures he performs are much less traumatic to the body than traditional open surgery, and require only a few small incisions. This method enables patients to heal more quickly and suffer less pain, scarring, bleeding, and infection.

Contact our office to schedule a spinal fracture treatment consultation, or connect with us through our website

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