Spinal fractures occur as a result of an injury or dislocation of the bony vertebra. This causes the bone fragments to pinch and damage the spinal cord. Fractures can occur anywhere along the spine but the most common site of fracture is the lower back.
What causes spinal fractures?
Spinal fractures are often a result of the following-
• A sudden traumatic injury
• A high-velocity accident
• Falling from a height
• Sports injuries
• Spinal instability
• A whiplash
Types of spinal fractures:
Spinal fractures are classified into three categories, such as the following-
• Compression fracture - If you exert excessive pressure on the vertebra, it will break. This type of fracture occurs when the bones in the spine become fragile or weak to the extent that they easily crumble. People living with osteoporosis, certain types of cancer or tumours are prone to a compression fracture.
• Dislocation - When the discs and/or ligaments linking the vertebrae is torn or stretched, the bones may dislocate or come out of alignment.
• Fracture-dislocation - Torn ligament and broken bone lead to this condition. A fracture-dislocation is a debilitating condition and often requires surgical intervention.
Symptoms of spine fractures:
Following an accident or an injury, you can tell if you have ended up fracturing your spinal column by identifying these symptoms-
• Excruciating pain
• Tingling sensation
• Muscle spasm
• Swelling of the muscle
• Sudden onset of back pain
• Restricted spinal mobility
• The pain worsens if you walk or stand for long
• Deformity or disability of the spine
How are spinal fractures treated?
Spinal fracture treatment begins with administering pain-management drugs and medications to ease the symptoms, and stabilization methods to prevent injury. Depending on the nature of the fracture, your doctor may follow these lines of treatment-
• Fusion and instrumentation - These are surgical procedures to cure unstable fractures. Fusion refers to the joining of the vertebrae using a bone graft along with hardware such as hooks, rods, plates, or pedicle screws. The bone graft joins the vertebrae below and above to form a solid piece of bone.
• Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty - These are minimally invasive procedures, wherein the surgeon injects bone cement into the fractured body through a needle. During kyphoplasty, the surgeon first inserts and inflates a balloon to expand the compressed vertebrae and then fills it with bone cement.
Spinal fractures are an extremely uncomfortable and painful condition to live with. It can hinder your day-to-day activities and affect your quality of life. It is imperative that you seek immediate treatment if you end up with fractures or dislocation of the spine.
What is Spinal Stenosis ?
The narrowing of the gaps in the spine or the backbone is called as Spinal stenosis. This leads to pressure on the nerves and the spinal cord. 5% of cases of spinal stenosis are seen in the low back of the lumbar spine. In some cases the narrowing of the spine leads to the compressing of the nerve root, which leads to pain in the leg.
Causes of Spinal Stenosis
It can be caused by aging, arthritis, trauma to the spine, spondylolisthesis and tumor of the spine
Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis
There is constant pain in the back and legs as stenosis pinches the nerve responsible for sensation and muscle power. Other symptoms are numbness and tingling in the legs, frequent falling and pain while walking.
Treatments of Spinal Stenosis
- A routine program with exercises and physical therapy are the best treatment for spinal stenosis. The exercises are not a complete cure but they are beneficial in keeping the patient active. A physical therapy can be supervised and once the period of the same is over people easily transition to the exercise program. The key for exercise is starting slowly in order to build strength.
- Generally, the patients are counseled not to perform strenuous activities as that might worsen the symptoms of spinal stenosis. In case of lumbar stenosis, patients find it comfortable when they are flexed forward. The doctor might recommend walking while being bent over and leaning when using a walker if not walking upright; sitting in recliners is also recommended instead of straight back chairs.
- Injections of cortisone are usually given in the epidural space. This is believed to relieve the symptoms of spinal stenosis temporarily. Though there have been studies which question the use of these injections as they lead to the risk of osteoporosis related fractures. This is still being pondered over by the doctors as a suitable treatment option as it has its own benefits and risks.
- Medications such as the antiinflammatory medicines like ibuprofen or aspirin are helpful in controlling the symptoms of spinal stenosis. Narcotic drugs might also prove to be helpful if used with care and for a short while. This is helpful for severe pain related to the nerves. Muscle relaxants like gabapentins might also be recommended. In some case anti depressants might also be given to provide relief from pain.
Though side effects are a concern when using these medications and the patient should let the doctor knows about their allergies.
Spine surgeries are complicated and have serious repercussions if the procedure doesn’t go as planned. Probing your doctor is therefore very critical to ensure safe operation and early post-op recovery. Questions can range from the type of treatment chosen for a speedy recovery to side effects. Here is a list of questions that you need to ask your spine surgeon:
1. Why is the surgery recommended?
Typically, there could be more than one treatment option for a particular problem. Your doctor should be able to tell you very precisely as to why the surgery is recommended and how it is going to address the problem.
2. Is there any non-surgical option?
Many spine related issues can be treated with medicines and physiotherapy. Ask your doctor if such options exist.
3. Explain the surgical procedure in detail
Your doctor should explain the whole surgical procedure, explaining the minute details and help will help you to understand the implications.
4. What is the duration of the surgery?
Spine surgeries do not take more than 2 hours. It, however, depends on the procedure that is being performed.
5. How will the surgery address the pain?
It is important to know the source of the pain. Exploratory surgeries are not performed on the spine. Ask your doctor how he intends to address the pain through the surgery.
6. What are the risks involved?
Risks and side effects vary from patient to patient. For instance, a person with obesity, spondylitis and smoking has greater chances of complications associated with the operation.
7. Will the doctor perform the whole procedure or he will use practising surgeons and intern for the job?
Many senior surgeons use interns and junior surgeons to perform a minor procedure. Get a clear understanding of the role of the doctor and his assistants. It is a good idea to know the background if the surgical team who is going to perform the procedure.
8. What is the success rate of the doctor for the procedure he is going to perform?
A successful spine surgeon should be able to give you valid data on his/her success rate and the overall success rate of surgeons all across the country.
9. How many days do you need to spend in hospital?
Your hospital stay is directly related to your insurance. It is essential to get a clear picture of the same.
10. Whether a back brace is necessary after surgery?
Limiting the spine movement speed the process of healing. Most Doctors suggest braces after spine surgery.
11. What is the time required for recovery?
The recovery greatly varies from patient to patient. What you should ask your Doctor is the expected time required for you to join your job/school.
12. Will there be any physical limitation after the operations?
Many spine surgeries require you to refrain from strenuous jobs for a while. For instance, certain surgeries require you to stay away from driving for a while. Address all these apprehensions from your doctor.
Spinal trauma, also referred to as spinal cord injury, occurs when a section of your spinal cord or the nerves at the edge of your spinal canal is damaged. The spinal cord acts as a messenger between the brain and other parts of your body. If the spine sustains an injury, all or some of these impulses may not get through. This may result in complete loss of mobility and sensation below the site of injury. An injury closer to the neck can cause paralysis throughout a larger part of the body than in the lower back region.
How do such injuries occur?
Often, spinal trauma or injury results from a violent event or an unpredictable accident. The following may severely damage your spinal cord-
• A violent attack (a gunshot or a stabbing)
• A motor vehicle accident that may cause trauma to the neck, back or head
• Falling from a great height
• Spinal or head injuries during some sports activity
• Electrical accidents
What are the signs of a spinal cord injury?
The followings signs and symptoms can be observed after an injury to the spinal cord-
• Difficulty walking
• Restricted movement of the legs and arms
• Stiffness, pressure and intense pain in the neck/back
• Loss of sensation
• Muscle spasms
• Loss of bowel or bladder control
• A twisted neck or back
• Lack of coordination, weakness or paralysis in any of the body part
When should you see a doctor?
If you experience significant trauma to the neck or head, accompanied by the above symptoms, then visit a doctor immediately. Spinal trauma or injuries is a debilitating condition and can deteriorate further if you do not seek medical intervention. In fact, if such an injury is not detected on time, you may have to face more severe complications. For instance, paralysis or numbness may develop immediately or gradually as blood clots and swelling occur in the surrounding region of the spine.
The doctor can detect spinal injuries using any of the following methods-
What is the treatment for spinal trauma?
An orthopaedic will recommend the correct treatment for spinal trauma or spinal cord injuries, depending on the severity of the condition.
• Medications - Intravenous medications can help reduce the pain and symptoms of acute spinal cord injury
• Immobilization - Braces, corsets, or neck collar can help realign and stabilize the spine
• Surgery - Surgery may be performed to remove bone fragments, herniated disks, foreign objects, or fractured vertebrae that are compressing the spine. Surgery also prevents deformity and pain in the long run.
Recovery starts typically within a week after the treatment. If you undergo surgery, you will have to wait a little longer to get back to your day-to-day activities. It is advisable that you follow up with your doctor and carry on physiotherapy for the first six months at least.
रीढ़ हमारे शरीर का महत्वपूर्ण अंग है. अतः रीढ़ की हड्डी के रोग को कभी भी नजरअंदाज नहीं करना चाहिए. रीढ़ हमारे शरीर में गर्दन से लेकर कमर तक रहता है. रीढ़ ऊपर से नीचे तक कई छोटे-छोटे हड्डियों से मिलकर बना होता है, जिसे मणका कहते हैं. सभी मणका ऊपर से नीचे तक एक-दूसरे से डिस्क से जुड़े होते हैं. यह डिस्क मणकों के लिए शॉकर का काम करती है जो अचानक चोट लगने पर इन मणकों की रक्षा करता है. पर कभी-कभी अचानक चोट लगने से या अन्य किसी भी कारण से ये मणका या डिस्क अपने जगह से खिसक जाते हैं या किसी भी कारण से मणका की हड्डी ज्यादा बढ़ जाते हैं या मणका टूट जाते हैं. इन्हीं सब कारणों से रीढ़ की हड्डी में किसी भी तरह का रोग होता है. ऐसी स्थिति में रीढ़ की हड्डी में असहनीय पीड़ा होती है और फिर शरीर का हिलना-डुलना मुश्किल हो जाता है. गर्दन से कमर तक में रीढ़ की हड्डी के किसी भी मणके में इस तरह के समस्या हो सकती है. पर किसी भी मणके में समस्या होने से पीठ या शरीर हिलाना मुश्किल हो जाता है. रीढ़ की हड्डी से होकर जाने वाली तंत्रिका या नस के प्रभावित होने से भी रीढ़ की हड्डी का रोग हो सकता है. अतः रीढ़ के हड्डी के किसी भी तरह के रोग का उचित इलाज अपने चिकित्सक से करानी चाहिए. आइये रीढ़ के हड्डी से संबंधित कुछ समस्याओं व महत्तवपूर्ण बातों पर विचार करते हैं.
गलत तरीका से बैठकर काम करना हो सकता है खतरनाक-
कितने लोग गलत तरीका से बैठकर या झुककर दिनभर या लगातार लंबे समय तक काम करते रह जाते है, जिसमें उनका गर्दन व कमर लगातार झुका रह जाता है. इस प्रकार गलत तरीका से बैठकर काम करना खतरनाक हो सकता है. इससे रीढ़ के हड्डी, पीठ या कमर में दर्द आ सकता है. इस प्रकार का दर्द उठते-बैठते, शरीर को दायें-बायें घुमाने या करवट लेने में हो सकती है.
ढीली चारपाई पर सोने से हो सकता है पीठ दर्द-
ढीली चारपाई पर सोने से रीढ़ की हड्डी सीधी नहीं रहती है. जिस कारण हमेशा इस प्रकार के ढीली चारपाई पर सोने से रीढ़ की हड्डी प्रभावित होती है जो पीठ दर्द कर रूप ले लेती है. इसी प्रकार ऊँचे तकिये पर सोने या टेढ़े-मेढ़े होकर सोने से भी पीठ दर्द हो सकता है.
ऊँचे एड़ी के सैंडील पहनना पड़ सकता है महँगा-
कितने महिला काफी ऊँचे एड़ी के सैंडील पहनती है. पर इस प्रकार का सैंडील पहनना महँगा पड़ सकता है क्योंकि इससे उनको अपने शरीर को नियंत्रित करने के लिए कमर व रीढ़ की हड्डी पर विशेष भार देना पड़ता है. जिस कारण से ऐसे महिला को बराबर कमर या पीठ दर्द की शिकायत होने लगती है. अतः ऊँचे एड़ी वाले सैंडील नहीं ही पहनना चाहिए.
इलाज से बेहतर है रोकथाम-
रीढ़ की हड्डी से संबंधित विकारों के लिए इलाज से बेहतर रोकथाम ही है. यदि हम अपने कार्य-प्रणाली, रहन-सहन पर ध्यान देंगे जिससे कि हमारे रीढ़ की हड्डी अधिक समय तक गलत स्थिति में या अनावश्यक तनाव के स्थिति में न रहे तो हम हम रीढ़ की हड्डी से संबंधित तकलीफों से बच सकते हैं. जैसे गलत मुद्रा में बैठकर काम करने से यदि रीढ़ की हड्डी या पीठ में दर्द आ जाये तो यदि हम दर्द निवारक गोली खाकर दर्द को दबा देंगे पर अपने कार्य-शैली को नहीं ठीक करेंगे तो दर्द हमें दुबारा हो सकती है. इसलिए इलाज से बेहतर रोकथाम है. पर यदि रीढ़ की हड्डी से संबंधित कोई विशेष परेशानी हो गयी हो जैसे रीढ़ की हड्डी के कोई मणका या कोई पार्ट अपने स्थान से खिसक गया हो या टूट गया हो जिस कारण से दर्द या अन्य कोई बीमारी हो गया हो तो तुरत अपने चिकित्सक से उचित इलाज करानी चाहिए.
रीढ़ व मांसपेशी के समस्या के लिए इलाज के नई तकनीक रेडियो फ्रिक्वेन्सी न्यूरोटमी-
आजकल रीढ़ व मांसपेशियों से जुड़े समस्या बहुत ही आ रहे हैं. पर इलाज के नाम पर फिजियोथेरापी व दर्द निवारक दवा ही हैं. पर जब इससे काम न हो तब सर्जरी ही करानी पड़ती है. पर आधुनिक इलाज के तकनीक में एक नई तकनीक रेडियो फ्रिक्वेन्सी न्यूरोटमी आया है जिसमें कम से कम चीर-फाड़ या सर्जिकल प्रक्रिया के बिना ही इलाज किया जाता है. इस तकनीक से इलाज में दर्द भी कम या नहीं के बराबर होती है. इस तकनीक में रेडियो फ्रिक्वेन्सी वेव्स का प्रयोग किया जाता है.
We all know that spine is one of the crucial parts of our body. The spine forming bones or vertebrae are protected by spongy and small discs. In healthy condition, these discs play the roles of shock absorbers for our spine and help to retain its flexibility. However, while a disc gets damaged, it might break open or bulge. This particular condition is known as ‘herniated disc’. This condition is also called ruptured or slipped disc. An individual can be suffering from the issue of the herniated disc in any of the part of his/her spine. However, most of the herniated discs influence the lumbar spine or lower back. Sometimes, it happens in cervical spine or neck and rarely this condition is seen in the thoracic spine or upper back.
A herniated disc might be sourced from the disc erosion. With age, the discs start drying out and they become unable to retain their flexibility. Another reason for which this problem can generate is spine injury. It might result in minute cracks or tears in the disc’s hard outer coating. While it occurs, the thick gel (from the internal part of the disc) might be forced out via the cracks or tears in the disc’s outer layer. As a result, the disc can become break open or bulge.
Whenever a herniated disc starts pressing the nerve roots, the affected person can feel pain, weakness, and numbness in the nerve travelling area of his/her body. When the herniated disc issue affects one’s lower back portion, it can generate numbness and pain in his/her buttock, as well as, down his/her leg and this condition is known as sciatica. It is the most prominent sign regarding a low back herniated disc. If a herniated disc does not provide pressure to the nerve, then the affected person might be suffering from backache. Sometimes, there is no pain absolutely. Generally, a herniated disc heals automatically with the passage of time. The affected person should take patience and strictly follow the treatment plan provided by the doctor. In case, there is no change in the symptoms within the pre-specified period, then that person should consult the doctor about the appropriate surgery.
Endoscopic techniques for the purpose of diagnosis have been started since the late 1970s. Experts initiated the utilization of the popular techniques of endoscopic surgery in the 1990s, however, the particular technique is now used for the spine conditions’ treatment. In this procedure, pain and spine specialist make use of specialized instrumentation, as well as, video cameras and perform it through minute incisions. For alleviating interruption to one’s tissue and muscles, the surgeon receives access to the respective vertebrae through the placement of collections of tubes in the endoscopic spine surgery. The Endoscopic spine processes are usually executed in either a 23-hour stay or an outpatient setting. The particular minimally invasive spine surgery is utilized for relieving pain sourced from pressing of herniated discs on nerve roots.
The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.
Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time.
Some of the benefits of this are listed below
Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed
The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair
Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques
Lesser painful procedure
Reduced hospitalization period
Quicker recovery and return to normal activities
The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.
Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.
People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.
Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.
Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.
Talk to your doctor keeping these points in mind, and you can bid farewell to your back pain forever.
A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord. It’s an extremely serious type of physical trauma that’s likely to have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life.
The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages from the brain to all parts of the body. It also sends messages from the body to the brain. We are able to perceive pain and move our limbs because of messages sent through the spinal cord.
If the spinal cord sustains an injury, some or all of these impulses may not be able to ‘get through’. The result is a complete or total loss of sensation and mobility below the injury. A spinal cord injury closer to the neck will typically cause paralysis throughout a larger part of the body than one in the lower back area.
A spinal cord injury is often the result of an unpredictable accident or violent event. The following can all result in damage to the spinal cord:
Some symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
If you suspect that someone has a back or neck injury:
Treatment should be focused upon that individual and tailored specifically to their condition. A treatment programme is formulated following a thorough physical assessment which might include:
Your physiotherapist might also be able to advise an individual on use of appropriate equipment such as wheel-chairs and pressure releasing cushions, exercise equipment and electrical muscle stimulators.
Because spinal cord injuries are often due to unpredictable events, the best you can do is reduce your risk.
Some risk-reducing measures include:
If you have been facing back problems in the form of pain and discomfort for a long time despite undergoing treatment and medications, then you must be wondering whether you should go for a spine surgery. With the advancement in technology in the field of medical surgery, spine surgery has gained popularity owing to its effectiveness and high success rate. However, there are plenty of misconceptions regarding spine surgery, which need to be busted so that people do not make decisions based on these false beliefs.
Here are five myths about spine surgery debunked-
• Myth: Surgery is a must if you have damaged discs.
Fact: Many people live with a herniated disc. It is a fairly common spinal condition. The common belief is that you need to undergo surgery to fix the problem. However, it is not true. In fact, many people have found relief from back pain following non-surgical methods such as physiotherapy and low-key exercises. These are the initial course of the treatment and usually, the patient sees positive results after the completion of the course.
• Myth: Surgery can relieve you from back pain completely.
Fact: Spine surgery is meant to correct spinal problems by restoring the functioning of your spine and reducing back pain. However, surgery cannot relieve you from the pain completely. In other words, it cannot fix the problem entirely. There are certain parameters, which you need to correct on your own. These include maintaining healthy body weight, living a healthy and active life, eating a balanced diet, etc. Nevertheless, if the spine problem/injury is diagnosed early, the chances of a successful spine surgery increase.
• Myth: Spine surgery has serious repercussions, and it is not worth a try.
Fact: Like all other types of surgery, spine surgery to has a few risks or side effects associated with it. The most common types include blood clots, infection, weakness, and bleeding. However, these are not as serious as it sounds. Since most of the surgeries are minimally invasive today, the minor side effects do not last more than a week and recovery takes place sooner. The side effects can also be managed with pain management medications well so the patient need not worry.
• Myth: Visiting a spine surgeon means you will definitely need surgery.
Fact: Your Orthopedic Doctor may advise you to see a spine surgeon if the symptoms of your spine injury/problem become severe. This does not necessarily mean you will have to undergo surgery. Sometimes, the doctor may schedule an appointment with the surgeon to have a unique perspective of the condition. Surgery is prescribed only as of the last resort.
• Myth: Undergoing surgery once means you will need another one soon.
Fact: If you have gone under the knife once, it does not necessarily mean you will need another surgery soon. Multiple surgical procedures are required only if the patient has sustained complex trauma to the spine. Such cases are rare. Usually, the patient undergoes spine surgery once, following which he/she is provided with a post-operative guideline. The guideline suggests engaging in mild exercises and making vital lifestyle changes to ensure a fast recovery.
If you have been suffering from persistent, recurring pain in the back or neck that has altered or affected your quality of life in a negative way, its time you should consult a doctor. Do not hesitate if you need to undergo e a spine surgery urgently. The facts stated above will help clear your mind and eliminate any false belief that you had been holding in.
The way we sit, walk, bend or stand is hugely dependent on one very vital organ of the human body; the spine. The spinal column provides strength and support to your entire framework. It has nerves, muscles, bones and tendons; all of which enhance proper functioning of your body. The human brain sends signals to the nerves in your spinal cord- a mass of nerve fibers and tissues ensconced within the spine- that further prompts every single part of your body to perform minute and notable actions all the same. A spine injury can thus impair your health; in many cases it can even turn out as fatal. Care should be taken to avoid sources of spine shock or injury. If an injury has already been acquired, it should be treated either through exercising or through medical assistance.
A few postures to reap the benefits of a fit spine:-
1. Twist your spine either early in the morning or after a tiring day- Fold one leg while the other leg remains perched on the folded one. If the left leg is folded the left elbow should be rested on your perched right knee and the right palm should be placed on the yoga mat behind your right hip. This posture can be repeated by folding the right leg as well. It increases spine mobility by twisting it to the end of its range sideways. Muscular spine aches can be remedied by following this posture once each day.
2. Do not slouch but sit straight- Some people are in the habit of slouching when they sit or stand. This is an absolutely wrong thing to do if your spine health is of any concern to you. Stretch out your shoulder blades and remain erect while standing and the same should be followed while sitting. Bending one's spine, unless it is necessary, can be very harmful.
3. Stretch your spine in three directions- This exercise is a good way to allay the tension your spine has to undergo every day. Sit with folded legs, intertwine your fingers and stretch your arms upward, in front and at the back to expand your spine to the full.
4. The downward doggy posture can relieve back pain- In this yoga posture, one is expected to stretch his or her legs according to the width of the person's back and stoop forward by placing the palms on a yoga mat. Knees and elbows should not bend.