Sunday, June 24, 2012

What is a Spinal Burst Fracture?

Spinal burst fractures are extremely serious injuries, and are usually caused by severe trauma such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall from a height

Extreme amounts of force exerted onto the spine can crush the vertebrae of the spine. A burst fracture involves extreme compression, or crushing, of the vertebra, causing the edges of the bone to spread out in all directions. With bony fragments and edges spreading out in all directions, there is a strong possibility that the spinal cord will be injured, resulting in paralysis or partial neurological injury. A burst fracture also causes severe instability of the spine at the affected area.

Neurological injury from a burst fracture can (in some lucky cases), cause no injury at all, or it can cause complete paralysis if the spinal cord damage is severe. The degree of neurological injury is usually determined by the amount of force at the time of injury, and the severity of the damage to the spinal canal. Bony fragments from a fractured vertebra can be forced into the spinal canal, resulting in loss of strength, sensation, or reflexes below the level of the injury. Mild burst fractures can result in relatively minimal symptoms or mild or no neurological injury.

Following an accident where a spinal injury is suspected, x-rays, CT scans, and/or MRI scans may be used to determine the amount of soft tissue trauma, bleeding, or ligament disruption, the presence and location of fracture, the type of fracture, and the amount of spinal canal compromise. All of these elements help determine the course of treatment.

Burst fractures, even without neurological injury, can be extremely painful, and can cause severe, long-term disability. Spinal burst fractures with neurological or spinal cord injuries can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating.

If you or a loved one sustained a spinal fracture as a result of a work-related accident, or a car accident due to someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation in Minnesota. For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, contact Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys. We can help you get the compensation you are entitled to. 


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