Jefferson Fracture Treatment, Jefferson Bone Fracture Healing Time, Surgery, Recovery, Symptoms and Types
Jefferson Fracture: What You Should Know
Fracture is a condition of our body’s hard tissue, most especially the bones, wherein there is a crack or break in its continuity which results to pain and swelling. Any forms of fracture can happen to different people and to any parts of the body. Because of this, it is important that we learn about the different forms and types of bone fractures. This is necessary so that we can also avoid the activities that usually trigger this kind of condition and even aid the condition when a person is already suffering from a fractured bone.
As basic background information for fractures, there are several types of bone fracture: complete and incomplete fracture, open and closed fracture, and many other forms depending on its severity. These types of fractures almost have similar symptoms: pain and swelling. Then, it becomes different from the other when it is already concentrated on a certain area of the body. For example, when a person has a knee cap fracture, he/she will have difficulty in walking or even just stretching his/her knee. For those who suffer from jaw fracture, problems such as difficulty in talking would become evident. These and more are what we need to know about fractures and the details that go along this instance.
One of the most famous types of fracture is Jefferson fracture. As already mentioned, knowing more about this form of fracture would teach us what types of activities to avoid that can cause Jefferson fractures. At the same time, this would enlighten us about the symptoms of the fracture injury. More importantly, this will make us aware about the Jefferson fracture treatment that needs to be done to recover from this kind of fracture.
Definition of Jefferson Fracture
Jefferson bone fracture is the fracture on the first vertebrae of the spinal cord or the C1 ring. This is usually caused by the hyperextension of the neck and compression of the second vertebrae. The compression or hyperextension of the already mentioned parts would cause posterior breaks and may lead to further cracks or breaks in the cervical spine.
Basically, this Jefferson fracture C1 is burst fracture which basically due to the axial loading that happened. When we talk about Jefferson burst fracture, we are referring to sudden and hard impact that has been made to the affected area, in this case the C1 ring or the back of the head. Jeffersons fracture is different from stress fracture which happens due to sudden change or increase of weight or impact that is done to the certain part of the body.
Still, both types of bone fracture would require careful attention from the person affected and immediate first aid treatment so that there would be no fracture complications that will arise. Simple first aid procedures such as cold compress are what most people do to areas that are fractured or suspected to be fractured. At the same time, medicines that would relieve pain and has anti-inflammatory properties would also be taken in some cases so that swelling can be avoided. Yet, this latter course of action would somehow need the advice of the doctor to ensure safety and wellness of the individual with C1 fracture or any fracture at that.
History of Jefferson Fracture
This kind of bone fracture is named after the doctor who reported four similar cases in 1920. This doctor is Dr. Geoffrey Jefferson, a British neurosurgeon and neurologist. Aside from the four cases of Jefferson injury that he already reported during that time, he also investigated and reviewed similar cases. This is the reason why Jefferson fracture of C1 has been named after him.
Causes of Jefferson Fracture
As already mentioned, causes of C1 Jefferson fracture are high-energy axial loading. This means that an individual had suffered from a great impact or load that is targeted on his/her back of the head. Examples of these instances are diving into shallow waters, hitting the head on the roof, falling, and similar cases. In addition, strong rotation of the head may also cause this condition. However, this only happens rarely. Jefferson fracture in children may also occur. Common cause for this is when children fall from some playground equipment like the monkey bars.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
In most cases, pain on the neck or back of the head is what a person with Jefferson fractures would immediately feel. However, this symptom is not associated with any neurosurgical signs. In other instances, the broken first vertebrae bones can damage the nearby arteries in the fractured bone that it would also be difficult to identify pain and other symptoms that would make us think that we are suffering from this type of fracture.
The simplest way to identify if a person has this form of fracture is to undergo an X-ray test. It is through this that the doctor will see the abnormality in one’s neck. When will be the right time to see the doctor and have an X-ray test to check for fractured first vertebrae? Immediately after a hard impact on the back of the head whether there is pain that is felt afterwards or not, seeing the doctor is highly recommended. Even if there may be no fracture symptoms, it is always safe to secure a fracture diagnosis if there is a hint for one. As already mentioned, it is sometimes difficult to identify fracture symptoms for this type because of the effect that it may have caused to the arteries in the neck.
Jefferson Fracture Treatment
The Jefferson fracture treatment that an injured individual would go through depends on the stability or condition of the fracture. In cases wherein the ligament is stable enough, the need for a hard collar or any immobilization device can already be a great form of treatment. However, when the ligament is already ruptured, the need for a fracture surgery would be necessary. The surgical procedure for this type of burst fracture would include vertebral fusion or fixation. Vertebral fusion is done through joining adjacent vertebrae through bone tissue while vertebral fixation is when two or more vertebrae are joined through a specific device. Both procedures aim to reduce mobility so that further spinal cord problems can be avoided.
Still, the decision in choosing between a surgical and non-surgical treatment for this kind of fracture greatly depends on the stability of the ligaments that are affected by the fracture. In addition, damage to other vertebras is also considered along the way. Naturally, the body has its own ways of treating fractures like fracture of C1. The aid of immobilization device such as a fracture cast would just be a great contribution and assistance for the natural system of the body to heal the fracture. Just after a certain period of time depending on the advice of the doctor, the brace/braces that would be placed on one’s neck can already be removed. When this happens, the likelihood of becoming treated from this problem is already resolved.
Furthermore, the use of immobilization devices are already good enough remedy for this kind of fracture and may already result to a long-term and lasting treatment. It is necessary to wait for the completion of the intended Jefferson fracture healing time, as determined by the doctor. However, it is still recommended that the injured individual see his/her doctor to consult for the right kind of treatment. After all, no one else would best provide the necessary and crucial treatment other than the physician himself since he is the expert in this matter.
These are just some of the details that pertain to Jefferson fracture. Still, there is more that we need to know more about it. If you are interested for more, you can always check out more references to enhance your knowledge regarding this type of fracture. This would be a great help if you have loved ones who might have this form of fracture or when you will be faced in such situations. After all, it is always safe to pack ourselves with the necessary knowledge so that we can be prepared with anything that may happen.