Spine fractures are always painful, yet they range from a minor break that requires minimal management to serious fractures that pose the threat of paralysis or death. As a board-certified neurosurgeon, George Kakoulides, MD, has treated many spine fractures, from simple to complex. Dr. Kakoulides provides exceptional care combining today’s most advanced techniques with surgical skill. If you need compassionate treatment for a spine fracture, call one of the offices in West Islip, Huntington, and Smithtown, New York, or book an appointment online.
A spine fracture occurs when one or more of your spinal vertebrae are broken. Spinal fractures may involve the anterior or front of the vertebra, the posterior or back side, or both.
Whether your fracture occurs in your neck, mid-back, or lower back, spinal fractures are usually caused by a high-energy trauma, such as a fall from a significant height, a car crash, or sports injury.
This type of spine fracture occurs when one or more vertebrae are too weak to support the normal amount of weight and pressure sustained by your spine. As a result, the vertebrae collapse rather than developing a typical fracture.
Compression fractures are most often caused by osteoporosis. However, your spine may also be weakened by a spinal tumor or infection.
Spinal fractures typically cause severe neck or back pain and limited mobility. You may experience tingling or pain in your arms or legs. In a severe injury, you can develop loss of feeling and muscle weakness in your arms and/or legs, as well as bowel and bladder dysfunction.
An injury to your vertebrae easily causes damaged nerves and serious complications such as paralysis. You may also suffer a traumatic brain injury or damage to other parts of your body.
X-rays and CT scans show the damage to your bones, while an MRI shows soft tissues and allows Dr. Kakoulides to evaluate the presence and severity of spinal cord and nerve root compression.
Most spine fractures, such as isolated spinous and transverse process fractures, don’t require treatment. Dr. Kakoulides may treat some fractures with bracing, while severe fractures with neurological problems often need surgery to decompress the nerve roots and spinal cord.
If your fracture impairs spinal stability, Dr. Kakoulides restores stability by implanting instruments such as rods and screws. Whenever possible, he performs minimally invasive surgery. However, extensive or severe fractures may require traditional open surgery.
Dr. Kakoulides treats compression fractures with a minimally invasive procedure called kyphoplasty. He inserts a needle into the collapsed bone and inflates a balloon to restore the vertebra’s normal height. Then he injects bone cement to restore the vertebra’s strength and integrity.
If you need treatment for back pain or a spine fracture, call George Kakoulides, MD, or schedule an appointment online.