Sunday, April 15, 2012

Types of Spinal Fractures

A spinal fracture is when you break a bone in your spine. The spine is made up of vertebrae stacked on top of each other, and they can break, just like other bones in your body. Spinal fractures, however, can be more severe than other bone breaks because a spinal fracture can result in trauma to the spinal cord.

There are number of different ways to classify spinal fractures depending on the area of the vertebrae that is fractured, the severity of the fracture, and the kind of fracture.

There a variety of different types of spinal fractures, including:

Compression fracture: Compression fractures are common in patients with underlying osteoporosis. Sudden force or pressure applied to the vertebra can cause the vertebrae to fracture, especially if the vertebra is already weakened. A wedge fracture is a type of compression fracture, where the anterior, or front, of the vertebra collapses and becomes wedge shaped.

Burst fracture. Burst fractures are caused by extreme trauma, such as car accidents. They happen when the vertebra is crushed by extreme forces, and it is fractured in multiple places. Bony fragments from the fracture can cause spinal cord injury. Burst fractures are usually severe.

Flexion-distraction fractures. Sudden forward forces, such those involved in a high speed rear end collision, that cause extreme stress on the spine can break vertebrae. A flexion-distraction fracture usually involves the posterior (back), and middle portions of the vertebra.

Fracture-dislocation. Any spinal fracture can also involve dislocation, where the vertebra moves significantly, and causes the spine to become very unstable. Fractures of the spine are severe injuries, and can be caused by car accidents or workplace accidents. They can involve significant medical care and disability. If you’ve sustained a spinal fracture as a result of your work activities, or as the result of a car accident, a Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney or personal injury attorney can help you get the benefits you’re entitled to. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email. 


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