Symptoms of a vertebral fracture
Not always it comes at Vertebral fractures to symptoms. Are often asymptomatic stable breaks. Unstable fractures, on the other hand, often cause discomfort.
Stable fractures are straight or wedged breakswhich have no influence on the surrounding structures and therefore do not cause any complaints. In such cases the Breaks undetected or become discovered by accident.
Symptoms can vary depending on the cause and localization very different be.
Should it be a traumaact like a fall or accident that the victim remembers Misalignments, bruises, bruises, redness, swelling, open wounds exist. If no trauma can be remembered, it is possible that the whirl have already been damaged by other underlying diseases, such as Cancers (Metastases) or osteoporosis. Even small minor injuries can cause a vertebral fracture that hardly causes pain or no more than a sudden event is rememberable. This can lead to small microbagatellar trauma creeping pain come. In addition, the underlying disease can lead to a Mixture of symptoms and in particular pain symptoms come up.
Another problem is with severe, severe traumas, in which other injuries, the exact complaints by the Vertebral fracture are no longer clearly recognizable.
Most often, however, it occurs after a vertebral fracture sudden onset of back pain, immediately after the break. The Chronic pain become. Usually it is one dull pain. In addition, there may be referred pain in regions which Spinal nerves provide, come. For example, it can be a vertebral injury Cervical spine to a broadcast of Head and shoulder pain come. On the other hand, if the Thoracic vertebrae about one radiating belt-like pain and with one Lumbar hernia about one radiating into the legs Pain. The pain is at rest mostly medium strength and then increase sharply with movement.
One can often over the affected vertebra Pressure, tapping and congestion pain trigger. Sometimes you can even feel the gaps in the vertebrae or the vertebrae stand closer together as normal. The vertebral fractures can cause Collapse of the spine at this point come what as a consequence a Decrease in height Has. In the case of multiple vertebral fractures are also Posture changes and even one Hump formation possible. The pain can cause it to Hardening and stiffening of the muscles come. Often the pain can cause a Relieving posture observe. Also movement-dependent pain can occur, for example in certain joint positions. This can also lead to application restrictions.
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Spinal cord injury
If it's a Injury to the spinal cord or corresponding nerve tracts There may be other symptoms too: In some patients, tread previously nonexistent reflexes on, these are referred to as so-called pathological reflexes. In addition, sensory disturbances or misperceptions are possible.
More symptoms can be Muscle weakness or paralysis be. A distinction is made whether the Paralysis on one side are, arms or legs only concern or all four limbs affect. Accordingly, the paralysis can be classified as follows:
- In the quadriplegia all four limbs would be affected. There is a very serious injury to the spinal cord here in the cervical region in front.
- In the Paraplegia it is a spinal cord damage in the Thoracic and lumbar area. Only the lower or upper limbs are affected. In addition, there are usually Sensory disturbances in the area of paralysis.
In severe cases it comes to complete paraplegia. In the Paraplegia it is damage to the spinal cord along the entire diameter. It does not always have to be a complete paraplegia. For example, a vertebral fracture can lead to a Partial injury to the spinal cord come which through Water retention (so-called spinal cord edema) can lead to complete paraplegia. One that presses on the spinal cord is also possible Bleeding or parts of the fracturewhich can cause paraplegia. The paraplegia begins with a flaccid paralysis of the muscles, being additionally below the injury Sensory disturbances enter. The flaccid paralysis then turns into a spasticity about, additionally can also abnormal reflexes occur. In addition, with paraplegia too vegetative disorders occurrence.
Besides that you can Urinary and stool continence disorders, in the anal and coccyx region (so-called breeches region) sensory disturbances / paresthesia occur. Paraplegia and urinary, Fecal incontinence and sensory disturbances in the anal region represent one absolute emergency dar!
The symptoms depend in particular on the Localization of the vertebral fracture. If the cervical spine breaks, then there is pain in this region both at rest and in motion, Bad postures of the head and the subjective feeling one can do that Don't hold your head anymore characteristic. It can also cause injuries to the cervical spine difficulties swallowing come. At Injuries to the lumbar or tailbone vertebrae are especially the lower limbs with Pain, weakness and / or numbness affected. In addition, as already mentioned above, it can become too high in this spinal column height Stool and urinary incontinence come with sensory disturbances and abnormal sensations in this region.
Figure vertebral fracture
Vertebral fracture (vertebral fracture)
- Transverse process -
- Spinous process -
- Upper articular process -
Superior articular process
- Lower articular process -
Inferior articular process
- Spinal nerve -
- Spinal cord -
- Gelatinous core - Nucleus pulposus
- Vertebral arch - Arcus vertebrae
- Fiber ring - Annulus fibrosus
- Vertebral bodies - Corpus vertebrae
- First thoracic vertebra -
Vertebra thoracica I
- Twelfth thoracic vertebra -
Vertebra thoracica XII
- First lumbar vertebra -
Vertebra lumbalis I
- Fifth lumbar vertebra -
Vertebra lumbalis V
a - cervical spine (cervical spine)
b - thoracic spine (BWS)
c - lumbar spine (lumbar spine)
A - vertebral fracture (spinous process,
Vertebral bodies) from above
B - vertebral fracture (spinous process,
Vertebral body) from the right
C - Most common area of the
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