What Are Spinal Fractures?
Spinal fractures are usually the result of a car accident, fall, sports injury or other type of trauma. Because a spinal fracture can cause damage to the spinal cord and lead to paralysis or other complications, it’s essential that if you suspect that you or someone else has this type of injury, paramedics are called.
In some cases, spinal fractures can result from osteoporosis or a tumor. In these cases, you might experience back or neck pain, tingling, numbness, difficulty walking and changes in bladder or bowel function, which would cause you to seek the services of a spine specialist.
Most spinal fractures are compression injuries. This means that the affected vertebra is pushed down and compressed. If enough force is present, pieces of the vertebra can end up in the spinal canal, which is the space that houses the spinal cord. The vertebra can also be dislocated, or pushed out of its alignment.
Fractures that affect the vertebrae in the neck are called cervical fractures, and those that affect the vertebrae in the lower back are called lumbar fractures. Fractures also occur in the midback or thoracic spine.