Spine Fractures

Saravanan Kasthuri, MD -  - Interventional Radiologist

Northwest Endovascular Surgery

Saravanan Kasthuri, MD

Interventional Radiologist & Endovascular Surgeon located in Benton County, Richland, WA

If you have back pain when you walk, it might be a spinal fracture. Fortunately, Saravanan Kasthuri, MD offers a minimally invasive solution to this condition: vertebral augmentation. When it comes to minimally invasive spine surgery, men and women in Richland, Washington turn to the experts at Northwest Endovascular Surgery. Call the surgery center or book an appointment using the online scheduler.

Spine Fractures Q & A

What is a spinal fracture?

Spinal fractures are breaks in the backbone that range from small stress fractures to full breaks. To determine your course of treatment, your doctor must verify which type of spinal fracture you have. The three types of spinal fractures include flexion, extension, and rotational fractures.

Flexion fracture

Flexion fractures include compression and axial fractures. Compression fractures are breaks along the front of the spine, usually a result of osteoporosis. Axial fractures are caused by a fall and occur along the front and back of the spine.

Extension fracture

The impact from violent forces — what you might experience during a car crash, for example — causes vertebrae to pull apart, resulting in an extension fracture. In the case of a car accident, your spine jolts too far forward as the seat belt holds the lower body in place.

Rotational fracture

Sideways bending or rotational force causes this type of fracture. A rotational fracture can result in dislocation — when the vertebrae become misaligned — and often compresses the spine.

What causes a spinal fracture?

Disease or trauma cause spinal fractures. You typically fracture your spine due to a:

  • Car accident
  • Fall
  • Athletic injury
  • Violent event
  • Degenerative bone disease (i.e. osteoporosis)

What are the symptoms of a fractured spine?

With a fractured spine, your symptoms could range from mild back pain to complete loss of consciousness. Additional injuries may accompany spinal fractures in a traumatic event. Common symptoms of a fractured spine include: 

  • Back pain that worsens with movement
  • Difficulty getting out of bed, standing, walking, bending, and performing everyday activities
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs
  • Loss of consciousness

If you suffer from osteoporosis, multiple compression fractures can cause you to lose body height, acquire a stooped posture, and lose strength in your back.

How do you treat spine fractures?

Some fractures don’t require surgery and heal from bracing for up to six weeks. More severe, unstable fractures usually require surgery. The goal of surgery is to return your spine to its proper alignment, decompress the spinal canal, and stabilize the fracture.

For painful compression fractures, Dr. Kasthuri performs vertebral augmentation. During the minimally invasive endovascular procedure, he injects a cement-like material into the vertebrae to stabilize the spine.

Part of the healing process for any spinal fracture involves a period of rehabilitation. Dr. Kasthuri helps you develop a plan, incorporating periods of rest and exercise, to support proper healing.

Are you looking for a surgeon who can treat your spinal fracture? Contact Northwest Endovascular Surgery online or over the phone.

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