Spine

Vertebral Fractures

Vertebral fractures of the thoracic and lumbar spine are usually associated with major trauma. They can cause spinal cord damage that results in abnormal neurologic function.

Symptoms

Symptoms of vertebral fracture can include pain or the development of abnormal neurologic functions such as weakness, numbness and tingling or temporary loss of spinal reflex activity.

Treatment

Minor fractures can be treated without surgery. This may include the use of a spinal orthotic vest or brace to prevent rotational movement and bending.

If you require surgery, there are three procedures:

  • The posterior approach when early mobilization is considered and decompression of the spinal canal is not a major consideration
  • The posterolateral approach used for high thoracic fractures
  • The anterior approach which is most useful for decompression of injuries