Traffic Accidents, The Biggest Cause of Spine Fractures

Traffic Accidents, The Biggest Cause of Spine Fractures
Traffic Accidents, The Biggest Cause of Spine Fractures

📩 28/02/2022 17:23

Dr. from Medipol Mega University Hospital Orthopedics and Traumatology Department. Instructor Mehmet Akif Çaçan, its member, said, “The most common cause of traumatic fractures is traffic accidents (40 to 50 percent). The second common cause is falls (20 to 30 percent). Traumatic injuries are more common in young adults between the ages of 18-40. It is four times more common in men than women. Osteoporosis, that is, fractures due to bone resorption, are more common in women over the age of 50. said.

Stating that spinal fractures are injuries caused by the exposure of the vertebrae carrying our trunk to low or high-energy forces, Dr. from Medipol Mega University Hospital Orthopedics and Traumatology Department. Instructor Member Mehmet Akif Çaçan said, “There is a 15 to 20 percent chance of developing nerve damage in those with spinal fractures. When these fractures are overlooked or neglected, spinal cord or nerve root injury may develop depending on the level of the fracture and may result in loss of strength or paralysis in the arms or legs. The most common cause of these fractures is traumatic causes. In addition, it can develop due to osteoporosis, that is, bone resorption. It can also cause fractures called pathological fractures in spinal tumors or infections.

Stating that nerve damage can develop in the arms and legs, Çaçan said, “The most important finding of spinal fractures is severe pain caused by touching the spine. Those with a spinal fracture have a 15 to 20 percent chance of developing nerve damage. If there is nerve injury with the fracture, loss of strength or paralysis may develop in the legs and arms. However, loss of sensation or numbness in the arms or legs may occur. Urinary or stool incontinence may also occur.

Çaçan said that another finding that can be seen in the long term after the fracture is kyphosis, that is, hunchback. X-rays are often the first choice in diagnosing spinal injuries. If fracture is observed on X-ray and examination findings indicate spinal injury, tomography should be performed. Bone structures can be examined in great detail in tomography. MRI can also be used to evaluate if there is any damage to the ligaments or nerves of the spine.' made its assessment.

Reminding that fractures are seen in 3 types, Çaçan listed the types as follows:

'Compression fractures are seen after minor traumas and usually do not develop any nerve damage. Pain is the most important finding in these fractures, which are seen in the elderly due to osteoporosis and sometimes develop without any trauma. In these fractures, the stability of the spine is generally not impaired.

Blast fractures are more serious than collapse fractures. It occurs after a higher energy trauma. Fracture fragments may protrude into the spinal canal and press against the spinal cord. Thus, spinal cord injury can be seen. In these fractures, the stability of the spine can be damaged.

Fractured dislocations are also a type of fracture that occurs after severe trauma to the spine from different directions. Nerve damage almost always occurs. Depending on the level of fracture, the degree of nerve damage may vary. For example, in an injury to the neck, total paralysis can be observed in both hands and legs. If the level of injury is in the back, paralysis may develop in both legs, while injuries in the lumbar region may affect one or more nerve roots that go to our leg. Thus, partial paralysis or loss of strength can be observed.'

'Surgical or non-surgical treatments are possible'

Mentioning that surgical or non-surgical methods are used in spinal fractures, Çaçan said, 'The treatment to be applied depends on the type of fracture, whether there is nerve damage and whether the stability of the spine is affected or not. In compression fractures, if the collapse is below a certain amount, corset treatment is applied. The corset uses at least 3 months. Choosing a corset according to the level of the fracture is also important. The corset to be used must be written and applied by a specialist physician who deals with spine surgery. After the corset is applied, the person can do his daily light work within an average of 1 week.' used the phrases.

Çaçan concluded his words as follows:

Vertebroplasty is a method of freezing the fracture by injecting bone cement into the vertebral body using a closed method without making any surgical incision with the help of a thick needle. Kyphoplasty is the method in which the collapsed fracture is corrected with the help of a balloon before cementation. These methods are especially used in osteoporotic compression fractures, tumor-related fractures and some burst fractures. After the treatment, the patient's pain decreases dramatically. The patient is discharged the next day and can return to his daily work in the early period.

Fusion-screw surgery is also applied in severe fractures with impaired spinal stability and in cases where the amount of collapse is high. It is the method in which titanium screws are sent to the intact vertebrae above and below the fracture and the spine is fixed with the help of two titanium rods. It can be applied by open or closed methods. The closed method can be applied in selected cases. It provides earlier recovery and return to work. In the open method, the process of freezing the spine, called fusion, can be applied. If the patient has no additional injury after open surgery, the average hospitalization is 3-4 days. Maximum care is required for 6 weeks after discharge, the person can go out of the house after 3-4 weeks. He can take long walks. Full recovery ranges from 6 months to 1 year.'

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