Site Navigation
Start searching below to find a service, location or TLC provider
Spinal Fractures

Spinal Fractures

Spinal fractures, or vertebral fractures, can involve damage to the vertebrae, vertebrae joints and even damage to the spinal cord. Breaks commonly occur in the middle or lower back but can also occur in the cervical, or neck region of the spinal column.  Fractures can be caused by weakening of the bones or serious injury.

Symptoms of Spinal Fractures
  • Back pain, particularly in movement
  • If the spinal cord is involved; numbness, tingling, weakness and bladder dysfunction can occur
  • Leg pain can also be present due to the pressure on the nerves. 
Causes of Spinal Fractures
  • Events such as a car accidents, major falls or acts of violence.
  • Accidents during sports or other recreational activities
  • Osteoporosis or other underlying conditions that cause a decrease in bone mass.  
Diagnosis of Spinal Fractures
In order to determine the type and severity of the break, a neurosurgeon will often perform multiple tests including:
  • Physical Exam: A head to toe exam is used to determine if there is damage to any other parts of the body
  • Neurological Tests: Doctors will evaluate the patient’s neurological status to determine if there is brain or nerve damage due to a spinal cord injury
  • Imaging Tests: Depending on the severity of the fractures, doctors may require an x-ray, CT scan, and/or an MRI to see the extent of the injuries.

Treatment of Spinal Fractures
The treatment for a spinal fracture will depend on other injuries and the type of vertebral fracture. In some cases the best option may be to manage the pain with non-surgical methods. Non-surgical options include pain medication and a brace. If a doctor recommends surgery, there are many types of surgical procedures available at The Longstreet Clinic.