A broken bone can actually be a bone fracture. There are many types of fractures that people can be exposed to. The human body is supported by many bones in order to let it walk, run, stand, sit, and perform many other functions. It is possible that any of these more than 200 bones in the body will be broken.
What is a compression fracture?
Vertebral compression fracture is one these types of bone fracture that anybody can have. The spinal bones might break when they come into contact with something on a strong impact. Compression fracture in children and adults would require a huge amount of impact or trauma for the bones in the back to break. However, compression fractures among older people and cancer patients would easily happen even without strong impact. This is because the bones in these people are more vulnerable and brittle. Fracture injury to brittle spinal bones does not take much force for it to happen. The bones in the lower back are prone to T8 compression fracture. There are many types of vertebral compression body fracture that a person might experience. One way to avoid compression bone fracture would be to drink a calcium rich milk to strengthen the bones. These need calcium phosphate to make them denser and avoid compression fractures.
What are the causes of the compression fractures of the spine?
There are several causes of vertebral compression fracture in as much as there are several types of this kind of fracture. Some of the common causes of compression fractures of the spine would include:
- Osteoporosis. This is caused by reduced bone density, which is why you need more supply of calcium phosphate. Thus, compression fracture of vertebrae would happen quite easily because it does not take too much force for the bones to break. Even without much impact, one might still get spine compression fracture due to the fragility of the bones. This condition usually happens to women who have already gone past the menopausal stage. Osteoporosis in men usually happens to those who have used steroid medicines for a long time. When one has this condition, spinal compression fracture is bound to happen if the bones are not strengthened.
- Trauma. This occurs when one has encountered an accident which resulted to an injury on the vertebrae. A break is likely to happen which could in turn result to compression fracture of the spine. An accident, such as falling on your buttocks or your feet, will have a strong impact on your spine. The same strong impact may also happen when you meet a car accident, resulting to compression injury. Your back will receive the most impact and when something snaps in the spine, a fracture will likely follow.
- Pathologic fracture. This is a type of compression fracture, or generally of any fracture, that is caused by an already existent condition in the affected area. This certain cause of compression fracture in back would also be likely caused by cancer in the bone. This kind of cancer might not have really originated from the bone but from other parts of the body. Pathologic fracture also refers to a bone breakage caused by a local infection or osteomyelitis. This infection in the bone, which can result to compression fracture in spine, might be caused by diabetes or other sickness that cause people to depend on IV drugs. Even the slighted nudge to these bones eaten up by cancer can result to broken spinal bones.
What are the different compression fracture symptoms?
There are certain signs that can tell you if you have fractured spinal bone. Once you recognize these signals, it would be best if you call your doctor immediately. In fact, it is advisable to see your doctor right after your injury. The longer you hold off your treatment the longer your compression fracture healing time will be. You would recognize spinal compression fractures when you experience the following symptoms:
- Pain. When you have spinal compression fracture, you would feel extreme pain on your back. You will feel it usually on your lower back, neck or upper back. The other parts of the body, such as in the abdomen, hip or thighs, would also feel painful. Whether you have L2 compression fracture, or some other fractures, pain is likely present.
- Lost control of your stool or urine. This symptom will tell you that the compression fracture back and the fragments are already driven to your spinal cord. Thus, you would no longer be able to control your urination and bowel movement. This is certainly one of the most inconvenient symptoms of a fractured spine.
- Numbness, weakness, and tingling sensations. These symptoms will tell you that your compressed fracture have already affected the nerves around the area. When this happens, you might slowly lose control of your movements especially if the numbness gets worse. If you don’t want to lose motor controls, you should seek vertebroplasty immediately. This is a medical spinal procedure which involves the injection of bone cement to a fractured bone through a small skin hole. This is also called as kyphoplasty. However, only your doctor can decide when to have a kyphoplasty procedure.
When do you need a doctor to attend to your compression fracture back?
Among the symptoms of back compression fracture is back pain. In some cases, this would be ignored. However, this kind of fracture is usually dangerous. Thus, there are some cases that show fracture symptoms like the following that should be consulted with a doctor in the soonest time possible:
- A person sick with cancer
- An old person feeling the back pain
- A person who feels the same level of pain whether one is at rest or on the move
- A person who has sudden weight loss
When is emergency response needed for compression fracture vertebra?
If back pain is felt along with the following symptoms, you should be rushed to the emergency room for your compression fracture vertebrae:
- Severe pain, weakness, or numbness
- No control of stool or defecation
- High fever
How is compression fracture diagnosis done?
- X-ray. This needs to be done for people who are 65 years and up, who are cancer patients, and those who experience severe trauma. Otherwise, x-rays might not be necessary.
- MRI of the spine. If you feel weak or you feel numb in certain parts of your body, an MRI is needed. Thus, you should find a hospital with MRI. An image of the L5 compression fracture, for instance, will be seen.
- CT scan. This is necessary once a fractured bone is found so that the extent of the break will be known. When you have compression fracture lumbar spine, you will know how broken your spine is based on the scan.
- Fracture surgery consultation. A specialist might be summoned by your doctor if a severe fracture is diagnosed through x-ray. Vertebrae compression fracture would need surgery if the break is brought about by severe trauma.
How is the vertebral compression fracture treatment done?
You can just stay at home in order to start with your spinal compression fracture treatment. In fact, the spinal decompression therapy will only be done at home for your convenience. Once the diagnosis of compression fracture thoracic spine is done, the treatment should start. Here are some tips that you can follow to take good care of yourself.
- Take a lot of rest so as not to stress out tlso brace compression fracture. This will help shorten your recovery time if you will exercise and move your body. Doing your rehab exercises religiously would be good for you.
- Take some over the counter pain relief medications so that you will not be bothered much by the compression fracture of the lumbar spine.
- Get an ice pack and put it over the affected area. You can also use a hot pack, whichever you are comfortable with. The ice pack should be placed in a towel and put it for 15 to 20 minutes as an effective compression fracture treatment. Do the ice pack treatment every hour during the first week after the injury. On the other hand, you can also do the heat pack to reduce the swelling on compression fracture spine. You will also feel so much pain during this particular stage of your fracture. The ice pack also works for scaphoid fracture.
- You can also do exercises, such as stretching and strengthening routines, if your doctor allows you to. This might help you out to hasten your fracture healing time as long as the routines are done correctly. A compression fracture of thoracic spine though is a condition that should be handled with so much care. With an exercise, one with an impacted fracture should be really careful so as not to make things worse.
Aside from home treatment for thoracic compression fracture, you will also need medical treatment. These are the things that you will have or need to do once you are on medical treatment for your TL2 compression fracture.
- You will need the back brace in order to keep the broken bones of your lumbar compression fracture in place. This can help in your effort towards spinal decompression.
- You will also need to rest and apply ice pack on the area of the vertebral compression fractures. Put the hot pack afterwards.
- Admit yourself to the hospital if you can no longer bear the pain. L1 compression fracture can be very painful that it would make you weak. If you will also experience retention, going to the hospital would be a good choice. If you have basilar skull fracture, you will undoubtedly need a doctor’s help.
- Exercises that cover stretching and strengthening your muscles would help you reduce the severity of osteoporosis. These can be work on L1 vertebrae compression fracture.
There are certain medicines that might be prescribed to you by a doctor. If you have osteoporotic compression fracture, you will most certainly be on pain medication. Compression fracture L1 and the other types of compression fracture will surely put you in pain. Thus, you will need to buy pain relievers. These would include narcotics, muscle relaxants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.
A surgery would be needed for compression fracture TL2, just like how you would need it for the other types of this fracture. This is necessary to avoid having the fragments driving on to your spine. When you have wedge compression fracture, you should strive even harder to get the surgery that you need. This also goes the same for L3 compression fracture as well. Actually, surgery is necessary for buckle fracture or any other types of fractures that have the bone severely broken. Kyphoplasty compression fracture can also be treated in several methods.