We treat a variety of spinal fractures, from painful compression fractures due to osteoporosis to the severe types of fractures that occur from car accidents or falls from a great height.
People with osteoporosis can easily suffer a spinal compression fracture after even a very minor fall. These tiny cracks in the vertebrae can cause back pain that worsens after light back strain (i.e. picking up a bag of groceries) and makes bending or twisting difficult.
Multiple compression fractures can lead to significant changes in the spine. As vertebrae collapse, you may lose height and begin to bend forward to compensate for the changes (kyphosis). Your shorter spine can put pressure on the gastrointestinal system, causing digestive problems. It can also cause hip pain and even begin to compress the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
Treatment for compression fractures
Nonsurgical treatments for compression fractures may include modifying your activities so as not to exacerbate pain, taking pain medications and/or wearing a temporary back brace. Compression fractures take about two to three months to fully heal.
Treatment for other spinal fractures
For more severe fractures, such as those occurring from car accidents or falls from a great height, a combination of techniques may be needed to decompress affected nerves and nerve roots and to stabilize the spine. A laminectomy (removal of the lamina or back part of the vertebra) or a corpectomy (removal of the vertebral body) may be needed to create more space for compressed spinal nerves. Screws and rods may need to be inserted to temporarily hold the bones in place, and spinal fusion surgery may be performed to provide strength and long-term stability.