A fracture of the spine is a serious injury and requires immediate medical attention. Fracture in the spine may occur in the thoracic region, lumbar spine or at the thoracolumbar junction. Apart from trauma, osteoporosis, tumors or other conditions that weaken the bone may cause spinal fracture.
The three patterns of spine fracture are flexion, extension and rotation. Whatever may be the pattern, a head-to t-toe examination of the patient is conducted and investigations and tests are conducted to decide on the further course of treatment.
A spine compression fracture is caused by the compression of one vertebra, against another. Removal of this compression is called decompression. The decompression surgery, carried out anterior or posterior, generally may have at least one of the following procedures
- laminectomy ? where a section of the vertebrae is removed
- discectomy ? where a section of the damaged disk is removed
- spinal fusion- where two or more vertebrae are united together and fused.
Stabilization involves a technology employed to provide stability to the spine. This method necessarily involves placing external devices in the vertebrae and anchoring them with screws, or more recent methods like kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty.