Frequent question: What does a spinal hairline fracture feel like?

Symptoms. If the fracture is caused by a sudden, forceful injury, you will probably feel severe pain in your back, legs, and arms. You might also feel weakness or numbness in these areas if the fracture injures the nerves of the spine.

Can you have a spinal fracture and not know it?

Some people feel almost no symptoms from spinal compression fractures. The cracks may happen so gradually that the pain is relatively mild or unnoticeable. For others, the pain may turn into a chronic backache in the injured area.

Do hairline fractures heal on their own?

The majority of hairline fractures will heal by themselves if the person refrains from activities that put a strain on the affected area. For the first 24 to 48 hours, a person can help the healing process by elevating the affected area and applying ice where possible.

How painful is a fractured vertebrae?

The pain from an osteoporotic spinal fracture typically lasts about four to six weeks as the bone heals, after which most patients report that the more severe pain has subsided and has turned into more of a chronic, achy pain concentrated in the area of the back where the fracture occurred.

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What happens if a fracture is left untreated?

When a bone fracture is untreated, it can result in either a nonunion or a delayed union. In the former case, the bone doesn’t heal at all, which means that it will remain broken. As a result, swelling, tenderness, and pain will continue to worsen over time.

Do hairline fractures require a cast?

Treatment for a hairline fracture looks different than that of a more severe fracture. You likely won’t need a cast, but the doctor may recommend that you wear a brace to keep your arm immobile. You should also rest your arm and use ice to control the pain.

Can you walk with a spinal fracture?

Depending on how severe your injury is, you may experience pain, difficulty walking, or be unable to move your arms or legs (paralysis). Many fractures heal with conservative treatment; however severe fractures may require surgery to realign the bones.

How long does a spine fracture take to heal?

Many spine compression fractures heal in two or three months. If you have osteoporosis, a full recovery may take as long as a year. Regular follow-up visits during this time allow your doctor to evaluate the fractured vertebra and the way your spine is responding to the injury.

How do you sit with a fractured vertebrae?

“Walk tall” and keep the normal curves in your spine. For sitting, choose a straight-backed chair with arms that offers firm but comfortable support. Avoid soft overstuffed chairs or sofas that cause you to “sink” into them. Review all handouts for posture and body mechanics.

How serious is a cracked vertebrae?

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.

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Which vertebrae are fractured?

Spinal fractures or a dislocation of one or more vertebrae in a spine caused by trauma is considered a serious orthopedic injury. The majority of these fractures occur as a result from a high velocity accident and can occur in the neck (cervical spine), mid back (thoracic spine) or low back (lumbar spine).

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