Spinal Fractures

The most important mission of the spine is to protect the spinal cord and the nerve roots that come out of it. It mainly consists of bones called vertebrae and soft tissues that keep these bones together. There are discs between the vertebrae that provide load bearing and movement. Spinal traumas can be observed in a wide range from simple traumas involving soft tissues to severe injuries including spinal cord fractures.

The most mobile part of the spine is the neck. The thoracic vertebrae are largely immobile as they are held together by the ribs and anterior sternum. The lumbar vertebrae are also mobile, but they carry much more load than other parts. The weight of the trunk is transmitted to the legs through the lumbar vertebrae. Spinal fractures are most common at the junction of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, called the thoracolumbar junction.

  • Situations where the risk of injury to the spine is high:
  • A sudden and forceful fall (vehicle accident, diving, falling from a height)
  • Significant trauma history (Skiing, snowboarding, jet skiing, etc.)
  • High-energy traumas (explosion etc)
  • Injuries that cause unconsciousness

If there is paralysis in any muscle group or sensitivity-pain on the spine, the patient should necessarily be evaluated for possible spinal injury. The most important point here is doubt. Because injuries of the spine that have been skipped can have very serious consequences.

Many factors determine the method of treatment, such as the location of the injury, its severity, whether the spinal cord is damaged or not. For this purpose, a neurological examination should be performed, as well as radiological examinations such as X-rays, MRI, CT, and treatment should be started without wasting time.

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