Orthopedic Center with Orthopedist and Arthroplasty Services

The vertebral column is essential for your body’s structural integrity and mobility. While protecting the spine and keeping you upright, this vital part of the body may be vulnerable to excessive stress, pressure, or injuries.

Also known as the spinal column, this is comprised of 24 separate vertebrae that make up the entire structure. Its essential tasks include the protection of the spinal cord and nerves, supporting the trunk, and providing attachments to the muscles of the body.

To understand which treatments are suitable in case of injuries or damage to the column, please continue reading below.

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Parts of the spinal column

The accurate diagnosis and treatment of a spinal injury or fracture depend on the section of the spinal column that has been affected. This region is often divided into three sections:

  • The Posterior column—This consists of the facet joints, posterior elements, and ligamentum flavum, and interconnecting ligaments.
  • The Middle column—This part is made up of the posterior longitudinal ligaments, annulus, disc, and half of the vertebral body.
  • The Anterior column—Comprises of the anterior longitudinal ligament and half of the vertebral body.

Types of fractures

Spinal fractures can be caused by a variety of reasons, ranging from underlying diseases to severe trauma in the form of injuries. These painful conditions can quickly become life-threatening, especially when you don’t seek the necessary treatment right away.

The complex structure of the human spine can be fractured in several ways, with the most common ones being:

  • Burst fractures—This occurs when the column is crushed in various directions and bone fragments may splinter and spread around the region
  • Wedge fractures—These occur when there’s a compression in the front of the vertebral body, causing a wedge shape
  • Seat belt fractures—These usually occur in the case of car crashes, where the forward flexion as a result of the sudden movement causes spinal damage
  • Dislocation injuries—Such injuries are often caused by sudden rotation, extreme tension, or severe compression of the spine. In this case, a part of the spinal column breaks away from the rest of the structure.

As a general rule, fractures are considered to be stable if the anterior column is involved. However, in other cases, the fractures may be considered unstable. This is because there is a loss in the integrity of the posterior stabilizing ligaments.

Diagnosing & treating column injuries

Column injuries can quickly become fatal, especially if you don’t seek the adequate treatment right away. Spinal injuries, in cases of high energy trauma, may require intensive surgical treatments to help you regain some semblance of mobility and functionality.

An initial physical examination can provide information about the location of the injury and the extent of the damage. Visible lacerations, swelling, bruises, and gaps in the column that can be felt are some of the first signs we look for.

There may be various types of fracture patterns, including burst fractures, compression fractures, fracture-dislocations, and flexion-distraction injuries. Spinal stability is often a viable way to help your spinal column heal.

There are various factors that determine the types of treatment you may receive. Such as:

  • Your age
  • Occupation and lifestyle
  • General health and medical history
  • The type of fracture and extent of the injury

For younger patients, more aggressive surgical treatments may be viable since their bone structure may be able to withstand the treatment. In elderly patients, especially ones who experience bone degeneration, lifestyle and management changes may be suggested.

In borderline cases where the extent of the damage is lower, non-operative treatments that rely on support and immobilization are ideal. Either way, follow-up examinations and a review of your symptoms is the key to helping you return to health.

An in-depth, accurate diagnosis is essential to help you get the treatment you need for column injuries and fractures.

For more information or immediate medical assistance, reach out to our team right away through WhatsApp at (11) 99452-6862.

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Unidade Higienópolis

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Unidade Higienópolis
A clínica Artroplastias do ortopedista em São Paulo, Dr. Felipe possui sala para acolher o paciente e família.

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Unidade Higienópolis

Sala para um exame ortopédico completo, cujo objetivo é o diagnóstico preciso. A indicação de uma artroplastia de quadril se baseia no estudo clínico e radiográfico cuidadoso do paciente.

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