About this disease
What it is about
Vertebrae can also fracture spontaneously as a result of an accident or if the bone structure is weakened. Basically, vertebral body fractures can be divided into two groups: traumatic and spontaneous. In the first case, an accident is the trigger. In the second case, the bone structure is already so weakened that vertebral bodies can collapse under the body's own load. The most common cause is age-related osteoporosis. But bone metastases from cancer can also lead to a spontaneous vertebral body fracture.
Symptoms and consequences
Symptoms include pain over the affected vertebra or with radiation and restricted movement of the spine. Possible signs of spinal cord injury include paralysis or numbness of the arms or legs, and impaired bladder and bowel emptying.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
First, a physical examination is performed: Is there a pressure and tapping pain over the affected vertebral body, are there sensation and/or movement disorders in the legs and/or arms? Then the affected region of the spine is x-rayed. In addition, a computer tomography or magnetic resonance imaging is sometimes necessary.
In stable vertebral body fractures without significant pain, the approach of choice is conservative with bed rest until pain is reduced and subsequent mobilization through physiotherapy and back training. In addition, stabilization with a collar or support corset may be necessary. In the case of unstable vertebral fractures with a risk of spinal cord injury, in the case of considerable pain symptoms, or in the case of great loss of height of the vertebral body, surgery should be attempted.