Overview. A “broken back” is another term to describe a spinal fracture — a break in one or more vertebrae, the 33 bones that form your backbone and protect your spinal cord. A broken back injury can be worrying, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s damage to the spinal cord.
What happens if your spine snaps in half?
Injuries can range from relatively mild ligament and muscle strains, to fractures and dislocations of the bony vertebrae, to debilitating spinal cord damage. Depending on how severe your injury is, you may experience pain, difficulty walking, or be unable to move your arms or legs (paralysis).
Why can’t you reattach a spinal cord?
Damage to the spinal cord rarely heals because the injured nerve cells fail to regenerate. The regrowth of their long nerve fibers is hindered by scar tissue and molecular processes inside the nerves. Scientists in now report that help might be on the way from an unexpected quarter.
Is a fractured spine serious?
Even minor falls or trauma can produce a spine fracture. Many of these injuries will never require surgery, but major fractures can result in serious long-term problems unless treated promptly and properly.
Which portions of the spine are most likely to be injured?
Understandably, the lumbar spine is the most commonly injured region of the spinal column. The lowest portion of the spine, the part that is connected to the pelvis, is called the sacrum.
Is spinal cord damage permanent?
Complete spinal cord injuries are usually permanent. Incomplete spinal cord injuries may allow for some functional improvement over time.
Can you regrow spinal nerves?
Adult nerve cells in the spinal cord don’t regrow after damage. Why they don’t, and how they might be encouraged to do so, have been areas of extensive research. Axons require a great deal of energy to regrow.
When should you suspect a spinal injury?
A spinal injury should be suspected if the patient has: pain at or below site of injury. loss of sensation, or abnormal sensation such as tingling in hands or feet. loss of movement or impaired movement below site of injury.