Classification of Spinal Fractures

Orthopedists have identified number of fractures that can affect the spine. But, five of the most popular Spinal Fractures include:

1. Compression Fractures
A compression fracture happens when a squeezing force causes a bone to cave in. Your vertebrae are always under a measured amount of com
pression. This is because vertebrae stack up on one another to form your spine. Generally, compression fractures often cause vertebrae to break down on the front side of the vertebral body. This creates a wedge-shaped vertebra that can lead to spinal dis figuration.
The main clinical symptoms may include any of the following:
  • Onset of back pain
  • An increase of pain intensity while standing and walking
  • A decrease in pain intensity while lying on the back
  • Decreased spinal mobility
  • Eventual height loss
  • Eventual deformity and disability

2. Burst Fractures
Burst fractures are similar to spinal compression fractures. Nevertheless, compression fractures cause only the front side of a vertebra to cave in. In direct contrast, burst fractures cause the vertebra to burst on all four sides. Hence, burst fractures are much more severe than compression fractures. The bones spread out in all directions and may harm the cord. This injury can cause paralysis to the nerves that control the body's ability to move and feel sensations.
The main clinical symptoms may include any of the following:
  • Moderate to severe back pain made worse by moving
  • Intense Numbness, tingling and weakness
  • Inability to empty the bowel or bladder properly.

3. Fracture-Dislocation
A dislocation happens when two bones slip out of place at the joint that connects them. It is generally caused by a sudden impact from a blow, fall or other trauma. You can dislocate any joint in your body your  knees, hips, elbows, ankles, or jaw , to name a few.  You can even dislocate joints of your fingers and toes.

The main clinical symptoms may include any of the following :
  • A visibly out-of-place or misshapen limb
  • Swelling, bruising or bleeding
  • Broken skin with bone protrusion
  • Loss of motion
4. Flexion-Distraction Fracture:
Flexion-distraction injuries occur due to distracted forces causing disruption of the posterior and middle spinal columns. These spinal fractures classically consist of a fracture line through the posterior bony elements. These are also called as Chance Fracture or Extension Pattern Fracture.
The major symptom of a Chance fracture is critical back pain that is worse when you move.  Other symptoms may occur depending upon the type of injury.

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