Fractures from Trauma
Spinal fractures are different than a broken arm or leg. A fracture of a spine vertebra can cause bone fragments to damage spinal nerves or the spinal cord.
A spinal fracture can occur from a fall, a car accident, or when an object impacts the spinal vertebrae with a force that it cannot withstand, so the bone cracks.
The most common type of spine fracture is a vertebral body compression fracture, which is downward force that shatters the structure of the vertebrae. If the force is great enough, it may send bone fragments into the spinal canal, called a burst fracture.
Most spinal fractures occur from severe trauma to the body from car accidents, falls, and other high impact force to the body. Injuries can range from spine vertebra fractures or as serious as debilitating spinal cord damage that can cause permanent paralysis.
Some smaller fractures can heal with physical therapy treatment and rest, however severe fractures will require surgery to reposition the bones and can include paralysis if the injury damaged the spinal cord. Spinal fractures and dislocations can pinch, compress, and even tear the spinal cord.
Fractures can occur anywhere along the spine, including the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas of the spine.
Scott B. Phillips, MD is a neurological surgeon based in San Antonio who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial disc replacement, carpal tunnel surgery, spinal cord stimulator implants and other brain disorders, including brain tumor and chiari decompression. Patients travel from Bexar County, San Marcos and South Texas, including Corpus Christi, Kingsville, McAllen and Brownsville for treatment of back pain, neck pain, brain tumor, carpal tunnel and epilepsy-related neurological problems. Dr. Scott Phillips provides second opinions for back surgery and neck surgery, and emphasizes non-surgical treatment options in advance of spine surgery. Where surgery is necessary because of a herniated disc or spinal instability, Dr. Phillips uses minimally invasive spine surgery techniques and advanced technology like the artificial disc to help patients relieve pain symptoms and get back to activity. This spine neurosurgeon expertise enables many patients to have outpatient spine surgery and be home the same day.