Compression fracture of the spine - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment .MF .

August 12, 2017 17:52 | Emergencies

The spinal column consists of individual bones - vertebrae.Vertebra, as well as any bone of the body can break down - this is called a spinal compression fracture.The most common compression fractures occur in the lower thoracic and lumbar spine.

Causes of spinal compression fractures

Compression fractures of the spine caused by excessive pressure on the vertebral body.At the turn of the vertebral body gets its wedge shape with the apex anteriorly.Internal vertebral body tissue is destroyed or compressed.It may be inclined at an angle in front of the spinal column during high axial load.This arrangement is most common when jumping from a height of feet.

There are several causes of compression fractures.If the vertebrae are too weak to keep the normal axial loads, you may need a slight pressure in order that would destroy it.Most healthy bones can withstand the pressure, and the spine is able to absorb the shock.However, one or more vertebrae may fracture under sudden heavy loads.

One of the common causes of spinal compression fractures is osteoporosis.This systemic disease causes loss of bone mass, bone weakening, making it unable to carry the normal loads.Ultimately, a fracture may occur in the ordinary tilted anteriorly.Osteoporosis - the most common cause of compression fractures.40% of women had at least one compression fracture of the spine to the age of 80.Osteoporotic compression fracture causes a decrease in the growth and formation of a pointed kyphosis (hump), especially in the elderly.

symptoms of spinal compression fracture

If a compression fracture is caused by a sudden injury, it will be the first manifestation of a sharp pain in the spine, arms or legs.Also, you may feel numbness and weakness if the nerve structures of the spine had been damaged during the turn.If the destruction of the vertebrae will be gradual (osteoporosis), the pain is moderate, increasing gradually.In severe forms of compression fractures of the posterior vertebral body can be displaced into the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord.Fortunately, this is not common.

Diagnostics compression fracture of the spine

Before a doctor can diagnose a compression fracture of the spine, and to take any action with respect to the treatment, he has to collect your complaints and history (the story of what happened to you).It is important to differentiate a compression fracture of other diseases causing pain in the spine or back and determine what is causing the problem.Next, your doctor will prescribe a set of diagnostic procedures to confirm the diagnosis and determine the treatment strategy:

- Neurological examination includes checking the function of the spinal cord, nerve roots and peripheral nerves.
- X-ray of the spine in two projections (frontal and lateral) will point to the damaged vertebra.
After the X-ray Your doctor may order a CT scan (CT) for what would be a more detailed study of the structure of the damaged vertebra.The same parallel can be made with CT myelography to evaluate the condition of the spinal cord at the level of the fracture.
- MRI is usually performed in cases of suspected nerve damage spinal structures.
- Densitometry.All women over 50 years old diagnosed with a compression fracture of the spine must perform densitometry for osteoporosis.

Treatment compression fracture

After the complex will be carried out the necessary diagnostic procedures and will be diagnosed, a treatment plan is made and rehabilitation.It is worth remembering that a compression fracture of the spine requires long-term treatment, including strict adherence and self-discipline.Treatment is always under close medical supervision.The choice of treatment will depend on severity of the disease and the patient's condition.Mild fracture is used mainly conservative treatment, whereas in severe, is likely to require surgery.

Conservative treatment

Conservative therapy includes analgesics and physical exercises.In the early stages of treatment the patient is placed on a special hard bed, which is also necessary to have the inclination, and completely eliminate the exercise for some time, to the spine has a chance to recover.In the next stages of treatment can be used as massage, special exercises and physiotherapy.

Depending on the time that has managed to pass from the time of injury, disease and age-related features of character, with compression fractures of the spine are used exercise therapy.Exercising with spinal compression fracture of the spine helps to restore the axis and its natural curves, strengthen the muscular system of the back and body, restoring normal mobility and flexibility of the spine.Six months later studies usually recover normal working capacity of patients undergoing a compression fracture of the spine.

It is also recommended to wear a corset that will help faster recovery after fracture and create additional fixation to the spine.To achieve the effect you need to wear a brace for at least two months.In severe cases, spinal fractures may require radical treatment methods, as in fractures, which are associated with damage to the nervous structures will require open surgery.

Rehabilitation after compression spine fracture

Rehabilitation after a compression fracture of the spine, if there is no damage to the nerve roots, has the task of returning people to normal life.Recovering from a compression fracture of the spine involves mainly the use of physical therapy, but no sooner than a month or six weeks after the injury.sometimes used electrical stimulation, cryotherapy (cold therapy) and massage for pain relief.Thanks to physiotherapy restores correct posture, improves mobility and flexibility of the spine.

During further rehabilitation rehabilitation following tasks:

  • Removing pain
  • Recovery bending geometry of the spinal column.Eliminating the lateral and anterior - posterior displacement.
  • Unlock motor function.Restore function of the diaphragm and chest.
  • Often compression fracture entails a violation of the biomechanics of breath.It's hard to breathe, or breathe, there is lack of air.
  • Restoration of blood supply to the injured area.
  • Creating the conditions for the most complete tissue regeneration in the injured area.
  • Create powerful muscular frame in the zone of injury, and in other parts of the spine.
  • Recovery fullest volume of spine movements in the zone of injury.

Solving these problems - it is, in general, a new approach in the rehabilitation of patients after a compression fracture.Usually recommended complete rest, wearing a corset, the treatment position, which leads to prolonged bed rest, to the removal of the load, reduce motor function.Also notice that the patients after a long stay in pastels acquire depression, which sometimes transforms into a serious psychological and mental disturbances.Active rehabilitation therapy should complement psychological rehabilitation.