Most people experience spine fractures due to aging or because they have osteoporosis. Whatever the factor, these injuries are painful to manage and live with. Luckily, you do not have to undergo traditional surgery to heal and alleviate pain. Modern medicine makes it possible to perform minimally invasive procedures that are painless and easier to recover from. Book an appointment online with Balanced Pain Management for treatment of spine fractures in Walnut Creek. Below is everything you want to know about these injuries.
What are the causes of spine fractures?
Two main factors that could cause spine fractures are:
This is when an event puts excess pressure on the spine, causing it to break. Trauma occurs in the form of a fall, sports injury, violent acts, or car accident. Force makes the body move, which increases pressure on the spine. When trauma breaks the outer part, the vertebra will collapse even when handling normal weight. Therefore, untreated conditions get worse with time.
ii. Pre-Existing conditions
Alternatively, spine fractures could occur because you have an existing health condition that is weakening your bones. This could be osteoporosis, bone cancer, or spinal tumors. Individuals with weak bones will develop fractures even after simple movements or normal weights. Treatment needs to address these conditions to reduce the risk of future recurrence.
iii. Risk factors
Apart from the two main causes, there are specific factors that will increase your risks of developing a fracture. For example, women of a white or Asian origin have been proved to suffer from these injuries more than the rest. Age, weight, early menopause, and smoking also increase the chances of spine fractures.
Diagnosis of spinal injuries
Doctors will need to perform a full medical evaluation, including a physical exam, to establish the severity of your situation. Normally, this is done using:
- X-rays: Doctors use X-ray imaging to see the condition and extent of your fracture. Some rays will detect abnormal movements within your spine.
- Computed tomography: It is also known as a CT scan. This is a safe test that uses X-ray images but now creates two-dimensional images for doctors to see your spine. The doctor may choose to use a dye as a contrast agent when performing the scan.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This scan uses radiofrequency waves and a magnetic field to create a view of your spine. Doctors may also use a dye when performing this test. Unlike the rest, this one creates clear pictures of your spine.
Treatment of spine fractures
First, the doctor will manage your pain using medications and stabilize you to prevent further damage. Depending on the results of those scans, they will determine the most suitable treatment option. This could either be the use of braces, fusion, or vertebroplasty, which treats compression fractures.
You should seek medical treatment immediately if you experience numbness, tingling in limbs, weakness, and bladder dysfunction in severe conditions. If you experience a traumatic event such as an accident that touches your spine, you should also rush to the hospital. Book an appointment today with Balanced Pain Management for personalized treatment.