Vertebral Compression Fractures and Virginia Car Accidents

Vertebral Compression Fractures in Virginia Car Accident Cases

A compression fracture of a vertebrae, is when a bone in the spine collapses.  This type of injury is most common in the middle of the back or the thoracic area.  When discussing the spine, the cervical spine refers to the neck, the thoracic spine refers to the mid-back and the lumbar spine refers to the low back.

Causes of Compression Fractures

A compression fracture can be caused by trauma, such as a car accident or other accident that causes a strong force to be exerted on the back.  These types of fractures can be caused from a fall or a jump from a significant height. 
Compression fractures can also be caused by chronic conditions, meaning they are caused over time.  The purpose of this article is to understand a compression fracture in regards to a Virginia car accident so we will discuss chronic issues of vertebral compression fractures.

Symptoms

When the compression fracture occurs from trauma, the injured person will most likely feel pain in the back.  The pain will often be severe.  The injured person may also experience numbness in the arms and legs and in the back where the fracture occurred.  They may also feel pain in the arms and legs.

Treatment

Bar any complications, a compression fracture can heal in three months.  Usually non-surgical treatment will resolve the injury but sometimes surgery is warranted.

     Non-Surgical Treatment

Since compression fractures often heal within three conservative non-surgical treatment will often be recommend. This treatment can included:

     A. Bracing

A brace will be used to immobilize the back of the injured person.  The brace helps supply support to the back     and will take pressure off of the compression fracture, allowing the fracture time to heal.

     B. Limiting Activity

By avoiding strenuous activities such as heavy lifting and or extreme exercising, the fracture will have time to heal.  In some cases the doctor will recommend bed rest for the injured person.
   
     C. Pain Medication

Often time, pain medication is prescribed to help the injured person cope with the pain as the fracture heals.  Obviously, the pain medication does not help with the healing of the bone itself but it does allow the person who was hurt to minimize pain during the healing process.

     Surgical Treatment

There are two common surgeries to treat a compression fracture.  The first is to inject acrylic cement into the fracture to help strengthen the bone.  The second surgery involves placing a tube with a balloon into the compression fracture.  The balloon is inflated to give the vertebrae the correct height and then the acrylic cement is injected to the cavity to help strengthen the bone that sustained the compression fracture. 
Complications

  • Nerve complications are possible if there is increased pressure on the nerve root or spinal cord
  • If not corrected, a deformed spine could cause pressure on the chest leading to breathing problems

If you have suffered a compression fracture from a Virginia car accident or from another type of accident in Virginia and would like more information or would like to discuss the case with us, please contact The Warren Firm.


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