A spinal fracture is characterized by a crack or break in the bones that form the spinal column (vertebrae). The most common area for a fractured spine is the lower back (lumbar spine), middle back (thoracic spine), and where these two areas meet.
In the case of a broken back, Dignity Health Southern California provides emergency orthopedic care at all of our hospitals. If you need to visit the ER for a spinal fracture in Southern California, use our InQuicker online tool to select your estimated arrival time at the ER.
If you or a loved one has sustained a severe traumatic injury, call 911 for emergency medical attention.
Symptoms of Spinal Fracture
Spinal fracture symptoms can vary greatly, depending on the severity of the injury. With minor fractures, symptoms may only include mild pain. Symptoms of more severe fractures may include intense back pain that gets worse if you move. If a fracture has caused spinal nerve damage, loss of bladder control and numbness, tingling and weakness can occur.
If you have one or more of these symptoms, a doctor at Dignity Health Southern California can provide a diagnosis and personal care.
Causes of Spinal Fracture
The main cause of spinal fracture is serious trauma, such as falling (more than a 10 to 15-foot drop), a car accident, or a violent assault. Compression fractures — when one or more of the vertebrae weaken and crumple — can develop with osteoporosis.
Treatment for Spinal Fracture at Dignity Health Southern California
Spinal fracture treatment will depend on the cause and severity of your injury. For mild fractures, initial treatment may involve nonsurgical methods, such as physical therapy and back bracing or casting. Spine surgery may be necessary to repair more severe fracture injuries. Your doctor may prescribe rehabilitation to help prevent future back problems.
To lower your risk of spinal compression fractures, follow these steps:
- Get regular osteoporosis screenings if you are older than 65.
- Maintain a diet rich in calcium or supplements for good bone health.
- Try to get regular exercise.
- Create a fall-free environment at home.
- Improve flexibility and balance to help prevent falls.
Dignity Health Southern California provides the expertise and advanced care you deserve to heal from a broken back. Reach out to us for trusted treatment for all spine conditions and injuries.
Spine doctors at Dignity Health specialize in the latest diagnostic tests and minimally invasive treatments for spinal fracture in Southern California.