Spine and Neck Fractures

Advanced, Comprehensive Care for Spine and Neck Fractures

As specialists in spine fractures involving the back and neck, EmergeOrtho’s physicians are ideally suited to help patients recover from their injuries through a high-quality, comprehensive treatment plan.

Approximately 700,000 individuals in the United States supper from spinal fractures. These can result from osteoporosis  (thinning of the bones), motor vehicle accidents, or falls from height. Pathologic fractures may occur when a mass such as a tumor, abnormal blood vessel expansion, or other lesion expands within the vertebral column, either directly causing a fracture or putting the spinal column at significant risk for fracture.

Osteoporosis, thinning of the bones, is more common in women but can also be seen in men as well. It is especially prevalent in postmenopausal women. It is estimated that 25% of postmenopausal women in the United States have experienced osteoporotic compression fractures. Wedge or compression fractures are the most common type of fracture seen in patients with osteoporosis. They typically occur in the front of the vertebra without changing the back of the vertebra which is closest to the spinal cord and nerves. A crush or burst fracture involves both the front and back of the vertebra and can place the spinal cord or nerves at risk for injury.

Treatment for spine and neck fractures

Treatment varies depending upon the severity of the break and which vertebrae are involved. These treatments include:

In the kyphoplasty procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision and a balloon is inserted into the collapsed space in the affected vertebra, and inflated. The balloon is removed and the newly expanded space is filled with a bone filler, and allowed to set. This surgery is appropriate for recent vertebral fractures that are causing significant pain despite non-surgical treatments. In many cases, patients experience relief of their pain within hours of the surgery.

For more significant fractures, surgery may be necessary to remove dangerous bone fragments causing nerve or spinal cord compression and metallic devices such as screws, plates, rods and cages may be necessary to stabilize the spinal column.

Back, neck and spine care is a serious matter. EmergeOrtho has a dedicated team of orthopedists who are experts in treating all types of injuries and fractures that can result from osteoporosis and other causes. Even more important, we take time to listen to our patients and develop a customized plan to help them achieve the best possible outcomes.