Any fracture to the spine should be evaluated by a spine specialist. Minor spinal fractures often heal with just a support brace. More serious fractures may require specialized treatment.

Types of Spinal Fractures

Compression fracture – This is common with osteoporosis or a spinal tumor. It happens when the front part of a vertebrae collapses on itself.

Chance fractures – These are often called seat belt injuries, as they nearly always occur in a car accident. When your body is thrown forward, but your hips are anchored by the seat belt, your vertebrae can be pulled apart.

Burst fractures – These are more serious, as the entire vertebrae collapses, rather than just the front. These most often happen with serious car accidents or falling from a high place. 

Get Treated

Often when you injure your spine, especially in a car accident, you may not immediately feel any pain. Always get checked after a serious injury, as spinal fractures, even minor ones, can potentially cause permanent neurologic injury.


Learn More About Spinal Fractures

Non-Surgical Treatments

Bracing  A rigid brace can help treat pain associated with certain spine fractures and often can help aid in the fracture healing without requiring a surgical procedure. A brace or collar can be used in certain cervical, thoracic, and lumbar fractures.

Pain Medication – Prescribed or over-the-counter pain meds work to reduce inflammation and ease pain.

Surgical Treatments

Cement injections (Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty)  In some cases compression fractures cause continuous pain during the healing process, but injection of cement into the compressed segment can generate some stability and help with pain.

Spinal Fusion – Spinal fusion, if necessary, occurs when screws are placed into the pedicle of the spinal column which are connected to one another with a rod. This creates a scaffolding to allow your spine to heal and form new bone, thus forming a fusion across the fracture site.

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