Tips for Dealing with a Lumbar Fracture
Within the back is the spine that consists of different vertebrae with the lumbar being the largest of the five so when a person ends up with a lumbar fracture, it is a serious challenge. The lumbar vertebrae are in the lower part of the back, which curve and extend to the sacrum, which is the strongest muscle of the spine that helps to stabilize. The cause of a lumbar fracture is typically from bone weakening or trauma although the underlying issue is really osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, treating a lumbar fracture 20 years ago was limited. Usually, doctors would have the individual wear a back brace and taken pain medication. Some people healed quite nicely but most ended up with lifelong pain. In addition, many people, especially those dealing with a compressed lumbar fracture were left with physical limitations. Today, people with this problem have a much broader range of treatment options that are effective and safe.
Obviously, to walk upright, the lumbar spine plays a vital role. With a lumbar fracture, it would be difficult to walk normally, which leads to imbalance and pain on the hips, shoulders, and legs. Then, if the fracture is compressed, the injury is even more serious. For one thing, this type of lumbar fracture is extremely painful, which may or may not lessen even with treatment but it also affects posture that again may or may not be completely resolved.
One of the most common causes of a lumbar fracture is car accident. With this, flexion and flexion distraction injuries are expected. However, another form of trauma that could cause a fracture of this type includes a fall or jump from a significant height. Often, falls will also lead to serious neurological problems, which means that person now has a broken back and never damage.
Keep in mind, a lumbar fracture can also be associated with non-traumatic situations. For instance, an elderly person with osteoporosis might have a simple fall that would normally not cause a fracture but with a weakening of the bones this becomes a risk. Other contributors to a fractured lumbar include infection, renal disease, and some type of cancerous malignancy.
You will also find that a lumbar fracture could be a number of types, which include the following:
- Wedge – In this case, osteoporosis and malignancy are common causes. Of all types of fractures this is the one usually associated with a lumbar fracture, which involves central compression force being combined with eccentric compressive force so the middle spinal column remains intact but the lower back is affected.
- Flexion and Distraction Flexion Forces – In this case, the posterior columns are usually compromised due to trauma. With this, a person wearing a seatbelt in a serious car accident would have his or her life saved but the placement of the seatbelt could cause a fracture of this type. Although this happens with adults, it is more common amount children.
- Burst – The third type of lumbar fracture is caused by high-energy axial loads directly to the spine. In this case, different systems are involved to include severity of deformity, degree of loss for vertebral body height, and severity of canal compromise, which determines instability of the bone and degree of neurologic impact.