Most spinal injuries do not require surgery as the fracture is most often stable. If surgery is needed, the main focus is to prevent the fracture from progressing and causing further damage, either to the spinal cord or to the normal posture of the spine. Fractures of the spine can cause increased rounding of the spine (kyphosis) which can lead to pain and poor function because of the changes in posture. Therefore, most often, the surgical treatment is fixation of by screws and rods, placed over and under the affected vertebrae, thereby preventing further deforming changes in the posture. If surgical treatment is not indicated, a corset or brace is usually applied. The corset works as partly pain reducing, or can reduce the degree of posture changes as the fracture heals.
Initially a spinal fracture is associated with a great deal of pain but this acute pain usually subsides within 4-8 weeks. In spite of surgical treatment, or treatment with a corset, some may experience ongoing pain and posture changes (increased kyphosis) after having a spinal fracture and are recommended to discuss this with their health care team.
The Patient Line website offers information for patients with spinal conditions:
Sciatica, back pain, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis and many other spine conditions explained in a clear reliable, and trustworthy way. Not for profit EUROSPINE experts are here to help patients and their families understand what may be worrying them.
EUROSPINE is a society of spine specialists of various disciplines with a large knowledge of spine pathologies. All well-known and accepted treatment modalities for spine pathologies are represented by the members of the society. However, the Society cannot accept any responsibility for the use of the information provided; the user and their health care professionals must retain responsibility for their health care management.