Compression fracture of the spine lumbar and thoracic treatment

The spine is often called the tree of life. On it goes, and then distributed to all the organs of the body, the energy of nerve impulses, therefore any injury to this part of the skeleton will inevitably entail a severe all body systems. The effects of damaging factors can lead to very serious consequences – the compression fracture of the spine. Let’s look at what the signs of such damage characteristic of different departments of the spine, take a look at methods of diagnosis and treatment, learn about the rehabilitation after such injuries.

Classification of compression fractures

Such injuries are caused by pressure (compression) on the spinal column, resulting in compression and decreases the height of one vertebra, but it may be several. Depends on how powerful the impact of compression. By the degree of deformation of vertebral compression fractures are distinguished:

  • 1st degree – reduction of the vertebral body did not exceed 30%;
  • 2 degrees – the height of the vertebral bodies decreased from 30% to 50%;
  • 3 degrees – the negative impacts resulted in a decrease of more than 50%.

The presence or absence of complications compression fractures are classified as follows:

  • uncomplicated – there is pain in the area of the fracture;
  • complicated – characterized by injury of the spinal cord, resulting in pain to the added neurological disorders, changing the sensitivity of the limbs, may develop paralysis, etc.

The signs and symptoms of compression fractures in different parts of the spine

Based on the order in which the cervical vertebral column occurred a compression fracture of the vertebra, appear different symptoms of trauma. The physician during thorough examination of the condition of the victim determines what code ICD 10 corresponds to the patient’s condition, because in this regulatory document for the diseases of each spine has a specific value. Let’s consider in turn what are the signs and symptoms of a compression injury are manifested irrespective of the place of its occurrence.

In the lumbar spine

Compression fracture of the lumbar spine is very dangerous consequences of violation of health, because thanks to the massive vertebrae of this part of the ridge of the one support vertical position of a body. With such a high injury risk of damage to the spinal cord. The main feature of this fracture is sudden, unbearable back pain, if the fracture occurred due to neoplastic disease, the pain is too strong, but is growing gradually. In the area of the injured vertebra develops soft tissue swelling.

More in this Department subject to the destruction of the first lumbar vertebra. If the compression fracture of the vertebrae and displaced, there is a spinal injury, which is characterized by impaired sensation and motor function of legs, loss of control of pelvic organs. When shifting there was a break in the nerve fibers of the spinal cord, occurs irreversible paralysis of the lower limbs.

In the thoracic region

Compression fracture of the thoracic spine accompanied by sudden shortness of breath, which appeared at the time of injury, a feeling of weakness in legs and loss of pelvic and genital organs. In such cases, may develop paralysis of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall, or intercostal muscles, leading to respiratory disorders in the thoracic region and the need to connect the person to the apparatus of artificial ventilation of lungs. In this Department are often damaged 11 and 12 vertebrae, because they are exposed to the greatest pressure.

In the cervical spine

Such trauma is extremely life threatening, because it leads to the dysfunction of respiratory and cardiovascular system that can cause instant death. Signs of a compression fracture of the spine in the cervical spine: the neck muscles tense, the head is almost impossible to turn or tilt. You may experience dizziness, sensation of noise in the ears, nausea. If the result of an injury wich touches the spinal cord, it can cause paralysis of the arms and legs – quadriplegia and below the injury site – loss of sensitivity of the body.

Fractures of the transverse process

Such injuries rarely occur alone, they accompany damage to other structures of the spinal column and often occur in the lumbar spine due to shock or sudden flexion. These fractures are characterized by a sudden sharp pain that may worsen when you try to lift the legs, lying on his back. Pain occur when bending of the vertebra with pressure on the damaged area.

Features compression fracture of the spine in children

These injuries in children is a rare phenomenon, because although the skeleton is still weak, but the fabric of the vertebrae of a child is more elastic compared to adults. A compression fracture is characterized by pain in the region of injury, in this place there are abrasions, bruises. In severe cases manifest limitation of motion of the legs – signs of spinal cord injury, but due to the fact that the organism is young and recovers quickly, even in complex fractures and adequate treatment, the child recovers completely.

Methods of diagnosis

For accurate diagnosis, the physician interrogates the patient about the nature of pain, circumstances of the injury – possibly caused the decompression fracture of the spine. During an external inspection may have suspected for a compression injury. Performed diagnostic procedures:

  • x – ray shows changes in height of the vertebrae;
  • CT scan – this diagnostic method determines whether the fracture is stable;
  • MRI indicates possible abnormalities of the bones or ligaments;
  • scan – helps determine how much time has passed after the injury.

How to treat a compression fracture of the vertebra

The key to successful treatment of injuries of the spinal column is correctly rendered first aid. If there is suspected fracture of the ridge, you should call an ambulance, and a position fix on a flat, solid surface, supine – the patient should avoid lifting, sit. After full diagnosis, the specialist will determine the degree of damage to the spine and, depending on it, appoint conservative treatment in combination with physical therapy or establish the need for surgical intervention.

Drug therapy

The use of this kind of treatment starts with ensuring immobility of the injured spine, the maximum removing the load. To this end, use special orthopedic corsets, bandages. During 1-2 weeks the patient should observe strict bed rest. To ease the pain of the spinal fracture, analgesics, these medications stop the pain. For the rapid recovery of bone tissue prescribe the use of chondroprotectors, vitamins, minerals. For example, calcium supplements with vitamin D, glucosamine, etc.

In complicated cases of compression injury, when there has been damage to nerve endings or blood vessels, the doctor may prescribe:

  • preparations for the recovery of the Central nervous system: «Ceraxon», «Cerebrolysin», etc.;
  • diuretics for eliminating swelling of tissues in the fracture, for example, «Furosemide»;
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed for oral administration or for external use as creams and ointments.


It is very important to know and understand that after the disappearance of pain treatment in no event it is impossible to stop. The spinal fracture heals in about 3 months, and during this period it is necessary to follow all recommendations of the doctor to continue wearing a special corset. Physiotherapy physical therapy and massage can begin at the expiration of 4 months after the injury. The treatment was complex and the recovery was at a faster rate prescribed physical therapy, contributing to the consolidation of the bone tissue.

It is worth noting the importance of LFC in compression fracture of the lumbar spine. If the patient do not pass properly and under the supervision of the rehabilitation period, there is a great risk of acquiring disability after such injuries. The first set of exercises performed under the supervision of a specialist, and then physical therapy you can do at home.


If a person was traumatized vertebra severe degree, during which there was compression of the spinal cord and nerve endings, and the patient’s condition is characterized by severe pain, to relieve the compression is performed surgery. The most common methods today is vertebroplasty under local anaesthesia in the injured vertebrae is introduced a special grout, which will increase the strength of bone tissue and eliminating the pain. The efficiency of this method of treatment reaches 90%.

One of the most advanced methods of treatment of compression injuries is kyphoplasty. The application of this technology is the following: in the vertebral column is inserted and fixed with a special capsule, into which is injected air and thus rises the damaged section of ridge, after which the position of the vertebra is fixed with a special solution.

Classic surgery is needed in such cases:

  • lateral vertebral instability: as a result of injury they shifted towards;
  • axial instability of the vertebrae turned about the axis;
  • manifested neurological impairment or high risk of their occurrence.

In these cases, surgery is performed by the following methods:

  • decompression: extract from the spine splintered parts of the bone that is blocking the normal operation of the spinal cord or the nerve fibers;
  • implantation: to stabilize damaged vertebrae in them are special metal implants (after surgery on the vertebrae, with special attention should be taken to the recovery period).

The rehabilitation period

With the implementation of the recommendations of doctors and adherence to loads of people after rehabilitation has the potential to return the physical activity. The complex of therapeutic exercises performed under the supervision of a specialist, at first with small loads. Gradually a set of exercises expands, the length of the period of practice determined personally for each patient.

During the period of rehabilitation identify the following stages:

  • A set of exercises that aims to develop muscles and improve the function of inner organs, is held in the first week.
  • The increase in the number of exercise repetitions, to strengthen a muscular corset and to prepare for more intense motor mode, is held for two months.
  • A set of exercises with resistance and weight training how to vertical loads, choose individually.
  • The exercises standing up. The duration of the alternating loads is also determined individually.

Possible complications and consequences

The risk of development of dangerous processes for the normal life makes it unacceptable methods of self-treatment of this type of injury. Compression of a spinal injury can cause such severe complications:

  • neurological disorders: paresis and paralysis;
  • kyphotic deformity: a hump in the thoracic region of the ridge;
  • segmental instability of the spine leading to degenerative processes of the skeleton.

Video: what is a compression fracture of the spine

Remember the information on the risk factors of receiving a compression injury of the spine and how to change the size of the vertebrae influences the development of osteoporosis, will help you with a short video. The video below explains what features and the occurrence of fractures in the elderly, these injuries occur in young, require emergency surgical treatment. You will hear tips on recovery and learn when you should begin physical activity with the aim of restoring normal motor activity.

The spine is often called the tree of life. On it goes, and then distributed to all the organs of the body, the energy of nerve impulses, therefore any injury to this part of the skeleton will inevitably entail a severe all body systems. The effects of damaging factors can lead to very serious consequences – the compression fracture of the spine. Let’s look at what the signs of such damage characteristic of different departments of the spine, take a look at methods of diagnosis and treatment, learn about the rehabilitation after such injuries.

Post Comment