HealthDiseases and Conditions

First aid for a compression fracture of the spine. Methods of diagnosis and treatment

The back of a person is able to withstand a sufficiently high load, however, in the presence of such traumatic factors as falling from a height, a strong blow, lifting weights or reducing the density of bone tissue, serious mechanical damage can occur, which often results in a compression fracture of the spine. In some cases, such a pathological condition can provoke tumor metastases. In adults and children, such trauma is characterized by flattening or squeezing the vertebra, and also by a decrease in its height. There are several varieties of vertebral disorders: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, coccygeal and sacral. A half of elderly people who suffer from osteoporosis, diagnosed with a compression fracture of the spine of the lumbar region, causing a decrease in growth, which leads to the formation of a hump.

Main symptoms and consequences of trauma

In most cases, with a compression fracture, there is severe pain in the affected area, which can give in the limbs. If nervous structures are involved in the pathological process, a person can feel the numbness of a certain area and strong weakness. It is inadmissible to engage in self-treatment with a compression fracture, otherwise irreversible changes in the vertebrae, which entail severe deformity, spinal cord injuries, destruction of the intervertebral disc and compression of the nerve roots, are possible. As a result, posttraumatic radiculitis, osteochondrosis and even paralysis may occur.

First Aid

In case of compression fracture , an ambulance team should be called up. If there is a need to move the victim, it is necessary to adhere to the basic rules of transportation in order to prevent the possible displacement of fragments and not to hurt even more. First of all, you need to ensure that the patient does not move, much less try to sit or get up. Transport or carry it can only be on a firm and level surface, making sure that all vertebral departments are located in the same plane. To do this, it is recommended that the neck and head rotate simultaneously with the trunk. If you are not sure of your actions, it is better to leave the victim in the starting position before the arrival of specialists.

Diagnosis and treatment of compression fracture

If you suspect a problem with the spine, you need to determine the main cause of these or other symptoms. For this, an x-ray or MRI is performed. To examine the state of the spinal cord in a certain area, myelography is performed, and neurological examination is performed to check the functions of the nerve roots. Treatment of the disease is a strict restriction of motor activity. The patient should not lift the weight and even load the back in the least. Elderly people are recommended a long bed rest, because they have bone tissue healing is much slower. Compression fracture of the lumbar spine requires the use of special orthopedic corsets for rigid fixation of the spinal column. With complications of a neurological nature, surgical treatment is indicated, which implies the removal of fragments that compress the spinal cord and nerve endings.

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