Spinal fractures are injuries which may be neurological. They can affect the bones and tissues of the ligament resulting in spine instability. Fractures can occur in any region of the spine.
Fractures often result in severe pains in the neck and lower back area. Patients may also experience pain in the back of the head, legs, arms and the shoulders. In extreme cases, fractures may cause loss of control over urinary functions and bowel functions.
About this Condition
A spinal fracture describes an injury to neurological structures, tissues or bony elements. Injury to bony parts usually leads to an imbalance in the vertebral column. Injury to tissues of the ligaments can also cause an imbalance. Severe pain, inability to lift loads and deformity to the body are some of the effects of an imbalance in the vertebral column. A fracture in the vertebral body or the lamina is a common cause of imbalance in the vertebral column. It can also lead to severe neurological injury in some cases.
A spinal fracture will often result in instability in the vertebral column which will need to be corrected through surgery. It can often have effects such as severe pain, deformity, and neurologic injury. It can occur in any region of the spine.
As an aftereffect of a fall, a compression fracture may occur. This is one of the frequently encountered types of fracture.
Ligamentous Injuries: There are different kinds of treatments available for injuries to the ligament. This is because a ligament can be broken, sprained or strained when an injury occurs. For this reason, treatment must be based on the effects of the injury.
Musculoskeletal Injuries: Lifting too many heavy loads, fatigue and lack of exercise are some of the leading causes of musculoskeletal injuries. If the muscles are unable to protect the spine from sudden forces, it can result in back pain.
Physical Therapy / Occupational Therapy
Therapy is critical in ensuring complete recovery in patients. A therapist usually designs a rehabilitation program for patients who have shown signs of improvement. This is used to prevent any injury from occurring again. Evidence of improvement may be a reduction in the pain experienced by the patient.
Therapy is usually aimed at increasing strength, reduce swelling in any area and also to enhance healing in the body. Therapeutic programs may be electrotherapy, heat therapy and cold therapy. Use of adaptive equipment, manual therapy, and therapeutic exercise are methods through which endurance is increased, independence in performing body functions and distance through which a patient can cover is improved.
Posterior fusion involves the use of instrumentation and bone grafting procedures I order to restore balance in the spine. The surgery is usually performed after any surgery which involves creating additional space to reduce pressure on nerve roots through the removal of a vertebra or a portion of the vertebrae. Instrumentation means the implant of a metal or non-metal element which serves as support to hold the vertebrae in place while the bone graft causes it to grow and then join as one. The bone graft could be interbody, or it can be put on the outside of the vertebrae.
In an Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), surgery is performed on the lower back region to extract a portion or an entire disc which lies between two adjacent vertebrae. The extraction is done on the front of the body. The two vertebrae are then fused together by a bone graft process. The two vertebrae are fused by a graft material.
While the body is healing, the bone graft helps to create a more balanced spine and also ensure that the disc height does not exceed standard height. The bone graft grows at the same pace with the vertebrae to ensure uniformity. Supports are also put in place to ensure the required shape is achieved. This support may be in the form of a cage, screws, rods or wires.
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
A transforaminal interbody fusion (TLIF) involves the removal of the disc from the back of the body. Space is created by scraping the endplates of the body region to produce a rough surface. A metal cage or a piece of plastic is then inserted into this space along with bone chips to make the fusion of the bone possible.
If a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion is performed along with a posterior fusion, the stability of the spine is improved. This provides more balance in all directions. It also helps to prevent the need to perform a second anterior incision to achieve stability.