Burst Fracture – Frisco, TX
Burst Fracture is a serious medical condition that affects the spine. It occurs when a vertebrae collapses completely. When a strong force is applied vertically above the spinal cord, the vertebrae tend to collapse or compress totally. It gets crushed so much that the margins of the bone spread out in all directions within the spinal cord. Therefore, it is termed as a burst fracture. The spine under this condition becomes very unstable and is likely to further deteriorate. The crushed margins of the vertebrae may irritate or push upon the other parts of the spinal cavity and may result in paralysis. The person suffering from burst fracture needs immediate medical treatment and should not be made to sit or stand as it tends to aggravate the problem.

Causes Of Burst Fracture

  • Vehicular accident which causes severe trauma to the spine
  • Falling from a considerable height can cause burst fracture
  • In some cases, seizures have been found to be responsible for burst fractures

Symptoms Of Burst Fracture

  • Loss of reflexes or partial paralysis may occur
  • The patient experiences pain which is likely to be of the same severity as that of a fracture
  • Limited range of motion and the person may not be able to walk
  • A feeling of electrical shocks in the lower extremities may be felt
  • Loss of control over the bowel movement is observed in some cases
  • Loss of spinal height

Diagnosis Of Burst Fracture

  • X-ray examination needs to conducted as soon as possible to determine the exact location of the damaged vertebrae
  • CT scan is generally recommended for detailed view of the spine
  • MRI scan is required if the doctor suspects internal bleeding, damage to the soft tissues such as ligaments or nerves
  • Neurological examination is required to check for nerve impingement or injury
  • Physical test are conducted to assess the loss of motion and other symptoms

Treatment For Burst Fracture

In case the fracture is relatively stable with no immediate nerve injury, conservative methods of treatment can be applied. In case of severe soft tissue and nerve damage, surgery is the only option. The methods of treatment adopted may include one or more of the following.

  • A body cast or a turtle shell type brace can be worn for 8-12 weeks period to stabilize the spine
  • Surgery can be done by making an incision either from the front or back of the spine to insert screws, plates, wires and rods that help reposition the angulated spine
  • Anterior Corpectomy- Surgical incision can be made on one side of the chest to approach the spine and the broken vertebrae are completely removed. A bone strut may be inserted in its place to fill the void and stabilize the spine
  • Pain killers are generally prescribed to help the patient cope up with the discomfort
  • Physical therapy is highly recommended post treatment (both conservative and surgical) to regain movement, flexibility and to strengthen the supporting muscles