Major Types of Spinal Fractures You Should Know

Spinal fractureSpinal fracture is a serious matter and can take place due to a traumatic event such as a fall or a car accident or even from medical conditions like cancer or osteoporosis that lead to bone loss. The very first symptom is a back pain that won’t go away. Other symptoms are a change in your natural posture or height. X-ray is the best way to diagnose a spinal fracture. So, it’s recommended to consult a physician in case of a persistent back pain so that if it’s due to spinal fracture, treatment can be started on time.

Spinal fractures are of many different types and treatment varies according to the type. To know everything about spinal fractures, visit

Here are some major types of spinal fractures you should know.

Compression Fracture

This occurs mainly in patients with weak bones due to osteoporosis, bone cancer etc. As such vertebrae can sustain a lot of pressure. But if there is suddenly a lot of pressure applied, they cannot handle it and then fracture occurs.
A Wedge fracture is a sub-category of compression fracture in which a part of the vertebra, often the anterior one, collapses due to pressure and becomes wedge-shaped.

Burst Fracture

These occur due to severe trauma (e.g. car accident) when vertebra is crushed because of extreme pressure. Unlike in compression fracture, in burst fracture, vertebra is crushed in multiple places and because of this, bony fragments are scattered causing spinal cord injury. In short, these are more serious than compression fractures.

Flexion-distraction Fracture

If your body is pushed forward in a car accident, you may suffer from this type of fracture. The spine is designed to flex forward; however if the forward movement is very sudden, it puts extreme stress on the spine and may lead to breakage of one or more vertebrae. Considering the three-column concept, this fracture often takes place in the middle and posterior columns.


If in case of any of the above fractures, vertebra/e moves (dislocates) considerably, it’s called fracture-dislocation. Typically it involves all the three columns (from the three-column concept) and makes the spine extremely unstable.

Stable and Unstable Fractures

There is no neurological problem or spinal deformity in case of stable fractures and the spine can still carry your weight quite well. On the other hand, in unstable fractures, the spine may face difficulty to carry and distribute your weight. Unstable fracture may be progressive and cause further damage. It may even lead to spinal deformity.

Consult your doctor to find the type of fracture you have and get the right treatment to make sure there are no further complications.

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