Spinal compression fracture lumbar symptoms, treatment, consequences

Compression fracture of lumbar spine: treatment and implications

Axis of the body is the spine, consisting of separate vertebrae, which are normally durable, can withstand heavy loads.

But bone tissue in the impact strength is limited and in some diseases it becomes brittle.

In the end, in some circumstances, a compression fracture occurs.

Compression fracture of the spine is damage that appeared during the compression of the spine. There is compression, deformation, cracks, crushing of one or more vertebrae. Often, they become wedge-shaped, to exert pressure on the nerve roots.

With a strong fracture damaged rear area of the vertebra can penetrate into the spinal canal, acting on the spinal cord and breaking it. A similar process appears slowly after such injuries are not immediately noticeable neurological symptoms.

Often can damage the lumbar as it have high loading and diseases of degenerative character. The first mainly affects the vertebrae as a result of compression of the nerve roots.

How can you get injured?

Spine fracture refers to a serious pathology may be complicated and uncomplicated. Have uncomplicated are just noticeable signs moderate pain, so patients do not go to the hospital. But the fracture of the discomfort in daily life, can cause serious complications in the future.

This fracture differs from other damage pattern of violations and the process that occurs in the injury.

A violation occurs when the compression of one vertebra or another of multiple departments, when violated the integrity of the structure and bone tissue.

There are several forms of compression fractures of the spine. If the damaged parts of the spine remain in place, it is called a stable fracture. The displacement of vertebrae in different areas violation is called unstable.

There are several causes of compression fracture in the lumbar spine:

  • falling from a great height;
  • injury in the accident;
  • gunshot wound;
  • sports injuries;
  • osteoporosis, tumor growth in the spine and other violations that reduce the strength of bone tissues.

A fracture can lead to the fall on the pelvis, back or legs, jumping and landing on the buttocks or feet, irregular load for sports lessons or small sharp bumps.

Fracture of vertebral column may occur when «slip» of cartilage in mejpozvonkovi the disc, which loses its shock-absorbing function in the emergence of certain diseases. While the bone structures become unprotected, and a small impact is enough to damage.

The emergence of such violations has the effect of improper nutrition, metabolic and endocrine functions, obesity, and inadequate calcium absorption. A considerable impact in bone destruction plays syphilis, cancer and tuberculosis.

The severity of the injury

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Compression fracture are classified according to severity level. Doctors have identified the first degree (with a slight offset, by reducing the height of a vertebra to 50% of the volume), second degree (with 50% offset from the normal state) and third degree (with significant displacement and reduction of the vertebra).

Sometimes damage can develop in hidden and uncomplicated, when a person has manifested a mild pain. The danger of such a fracture is its effects associated with sciatica and degenerative disc disease.

Symptoms depending on the location of the injury

A compression fracture of the lumbar spine is manifested by the following symptoms of a General nature:

  • pain which appear in any position and are different (acute or moderate character);
  • weakness and numbness of the limbs;
  • partial lameness;
  • discomfort when emptying the bowel and bladder;
  • loss of consciousness, nausea and weakness.

Such symptomatology is typical for all types of fractures in the lumbar region. But there are signs, which differ depending on zone of injury.

Part of the lumbar vertebrae, includes 5, each of which can be damaged with a certain probability. In some cases, the fracture damaged several segments. From the number of damaged vertebra will be determined by localized pain.

For example, in violation of the 4th and 5th vertebrae will manifest itself by pain in the lower back, and go in the groin area. For violation of above vertebrae the pain will appear in the lumbar region, giving to the upper region of the body.

So, features of the fracture of the spine depending on the placement of the vertebrae in the region of the lumbar:

  1. Fracture of the 1st vertebra. This vertebra is the most vulnerable and often destroyed his body. In the absence of complications and damage to the spin of the brain, and in the case of timely therapy is determined by the high projection for a full recovery. Due to the high loads on the vertebra 1, he often suffers from injuries due to osteoporosis and result in severe shocks.
  2. Fracture of the 2nd vertebrae. The second vertebra is damaged less frequently than the first. And the same happens at high loads. Due to the strong disruption of the structure of the 2nd vertebra is a «loosening» of the entire segment, which will be shown in the area of the first and third vertebrae. If you do not assign the treatment of this condition, the breach must go to the upper and lower sections of the spine.
  3. Trauma in the area of the 3rd vertebra. Damage to 3 vertebrae are less likely. Often it is damaged as a result of blows to the area of its localization. Assigned to inpatient treatment, and depending on severity may need surgery. Due to improperly selected treatment in this area appears instability, spondylopathy and chronic pain.
  4. Damage in the region of the 4th vertebra. This vertebra is also rarely damaged. As a rule, his body cracks due to compression of disorders in the 2nd and 3rd vertebrae.
  5. A fracture of the 5th vertebra. The last vertebra is connected to the base of the sacrum. Often, a fracture appears in the fall on the buttocks and damage to the sacrum. Mostly pain appear in the lumbar area, but can spread to the groin.
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What you need to know about compression fracture of the spine, asked, and asked:


Diagnostic studies for compression of the lumbar spine is not complicated. The injury can be determined by visual inspection based on complaints of the patient and the nature of the damage.

Can also manifest a visible deformation. To determine spinal injury can be a stirring of feet, a test of the sensitivity of the skin with a sterile needle.

In stationary conditions is carried out radiography of the lumbar division in 2 projections (lateral and frontal). Also, the doctor may prescribe an MRI and a CT scan.

Complex medical events

Treatment if you suspect a compression fracture of the lumbar spine should be rapid to avoid serious injury.

Provided first aid (some people put the victim on a stretcher on the area of the fracture, a bandage or corset, pain is antimolevye therapy). The next step is medical research, conservative or surgical treatment, and also monitored the recovery period.

Often do not require surgery, but sometimes it is unavoidable. As the treatment uses the following methods:

  1. Drugs. Medications designed to relieve pain.
  2. A decrease in physical activity (walking and sitting upright, standing). Older patients are recommended bed rest.
  3. Fixation of lumbar corset, which will free the spine from unnecessary stress.
  4. Vertebroplasty. Using this method strengthens and restores the damaged area back. In the process procedure in the damaged region is inserted a thin needle, through which a special solution. Under x-ray control is carried out. To restore the patient to a day, after which its motor activity is reduced.
  5. Kyphoplasty. The procedure is based on performing multiple incisions, through which is introduced into the vertebra, the balloon is inflated to the desired size and in the area of damage is filled with a special cement. The procedure allows fixing the position of the spine and normalize its parameters.
  6. The operation. Intervention is performed when damaged nerve endings. In the process of manipulation specialist removes the damaged region, perezhimaya the spinal cord with the nerves, replacing them with metal implants.
  7. Can sometimes occur hood the lumbar region (in one stage under local anesthesia on an orthopedic table, reposition – a gradual change of the inclined angle on orthopaedic beds).
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The rehabilitation period

The main goal of rehabilitation is the development of the vertebral joints after removing the corset or plaster, strengthening the weak muscle and ligament and prevention of complications.

Most often used a special set of physical therapy, advanced physiotherapy, electrical stimulation, manual therapy and massage.

The rehabilitation course is allocated 3 stages: first, recovering the work of systems and organs, strengthens corset muscles and be trained to a vertical position. The duration of the rehabilitation period depends on the severity of the damage.

Physical therapy can be performed in a hospital or at home under the supervision of a specialist. It is also recommended to visit the pool.

Exercises physical therapy compression fracture for each part of the spine from cervical to lumbar:

What is the danger of injury

In compression fracture of the spine may appear complications common of which is the instability of the vertebral column in the region of the lumbar, neurological damage and kyphotic deformity (the appearance of hollow or pointed hump in the thoracic spine).

Upon compression of 3 degrees the risk of severe consequences increases.

To avoid a complications should be immediately referred to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

How to avoid unnecessary problems

You first need to avoid unnecessary risks. It is necessary to observe traffic rules, avoid accidents, and adhere to the safety production, to train the back muscles and to eat right.

If a spinal injury could not be avoided, you should eat foods that contain vitamins and minerals.

Necessary ingredients:

  • in dairy products, cabbage, fish contains calcium;
  • in leafy vegetables, shrimp, bananas and nuts contain magnesium;
  • vitamin B6 and folic acid are part of beans, bananas, beets, cabbage and liver;
  • zinc is found in seafood, walnuts, oats and buckwheat.

From the diet should exclude strong tea, coffee, soda, fatty foods, alcohol.

Also to preventive measures include caution in sports activities, active rest and treatment of osteoporosis.