Causes and Treatment of a Fractured Vertebrae
Fractured vertebrae can be very painful, and treatment may not always be successful. The spine is made up of bones that are known as vertebrae, and just like any of the other bones in the body, the vertebrae can break. In most cases a break in the vertebrae will occur in the lower area of the spine.
Fractured vertebrae can occur if the bones are weakened due to osteoporosis, or if the fall that impacts the area. This is often because there is too much pressure on the bone, the vertebrae then collapses, along with the tissue of the vertebrae.
Osteoporosis is the most common contributor to fractured vertebrae. The reason this happens is that it deteriorates bones to the point that they can no longer take normal pressure and will fracture easily.
The symptoms of fractured vertebrae include severe pain in the back that may also be present in the legs and arms. In addition to pain, there may also be some numbness in the arms and legs, or tingling.
To diagnose fractured vertebrae your doctor may order an X-ray or an MRI so that they can get a visual image of the spine. It may also be necessary to undergo a neurological exam to ensure there is no nerve damage.
Treatment for fractured vertebrae varies according to the severity of the break. In most cases you will be treated with pain medications, and possibly a back brace. With this treatment it will take a few months for the facture to heal, but in some cases surgery might be necessary.
If surgery is necessary, it will likely be to remove bone fragments that might be causing additional damage to the nerves and spine. Due to the fact that spinal surgery is a serious operation, you must be aware of the possible complications that may arise.
Some of the complications that may arise if you need surgery to repair fractured vertebrae include spine instability, nerve damage, as well as spine deformity.
The best way to treat fractured vertebrae is to prevent the injury in the first place. Although it may be impossible to completely protect yourself from a spinal fracture, there are some steps you can take to help reduce risk. For women the first thing to do is to try and prevent the development of osteoporosis. You will want to talk with your doctor about your possible risk for developing this disease, and find out what steps you can take to eliminate this problem or delay the onset.
Everyone should take the proper precautions when they are lifting heavy objects or using their back in move heavy objects. Always lift objects correctly, with your legs and not your back. It is also a good idea to wear a back brace if you do have to lift objects; this can help reduce your risk of injury.
Always get plenty of calcium in your diet to help keep your bones strong, and if you do experience trauma to the spine, you will want to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Fractured vertebrae can become worse if the injury is left untreated.