A bone fracture is a medical condition in which a bone is cracked or broken. While many fractures are the result of high force impact or stress, bone fracture can also occur as a result of certain medical conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, or osteogenesis imperfecta.
Regarding the spine, even minor falls or trauma can sometimes 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. There are a variety of types of spine fractures, ranging from severe injuries such as burst fractures and fracture-dislocations (usually caused by severe trauma) to painful compression fractures, often a result of more minor trauma in osteoporotic patients. The more severe injuries can result in pain and spinal cord injury. If compression fractures occur over time at several levels of the spine, the patient can develop a humpback deformity, and be unable to stand up straight.
Because the spinal cord and nerve roots are contained within the spine, the cord or nerve roots may be injured, which may result in a loss of sensation and paralysis. Indications of nerve injury include pain radiating into the leg, weakness of the leg muscles, and incontinence.
Spine surgery is a highly specialized procedure which requires a thorough understanding of the mechanics of spinal injuries, and training in the evolving techniques for reconstructing the spinal column. In the case of vertebral compression fractures, spinal surgeons can perform kyphoplasty to re-expand the vertebrae and strengthen them with an injection of bone cement. This can be done as an outpatient procedure in a minimally invasive fashion. Sometimes bone cement can be injected without re-expanding the fracture (vertebroplasty).
OUR SPINE TEAM
Neurological Surgery, P.C. is one of the New York City area’s premier neurosurgical groups, offering patients the most advanced treatments of brain and spine disorders. These include minimally invasive procedures such as stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife®, CyberKnife® and Novalis Tx™), aneurysm coiling, neuro-endoscopy, spinal stimulators, carotid stents, interventional pain management, microdiscectomy, kyphoplasty, and other types of minimally invasive spine surgery. The practice’s physicians represent a range of surgical and nonsurgical specialties, combining compassionate care with highly specialized training. They are leaders in the region’s medical community, with appointments as chiefs of neurosurgery in some of Long Island’s best hospitals. NSPC offers 10 convenient locations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as in Queens and Manhattan. For more information, call 1-800-775-7784 or visit www.NSPC.com